Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bacon wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Wow . . . you can probably tell by the fact that I've only posted once this year that January is sort of kicking our butt.  I'm working a MWF schedule that I've not done for probably 10 years and it's been a little tricky coordinating that with the kids' schedules and other "life" stuff.  On the food front, I'm proud to report that I've been feeding my family real food for dinner every night - no fast food or pizza on weeknights (yet) and we have all been having breakfast together before school.  One thing nice about this work schedule is I'm there to take the girls to school every morning.  Then dad picks them up and I'm home around 6:30 for dinner and bedtime.  Whew!

Super Bowl is coming up and it might be a great time to make one o the best holiday appetizers that I made this year . . . what's better than a jalapeño popper?  One that's not fried but is wrapped in bacon!  These were a little time consuming (prepping the peppers) but I loved that I could make them a day ahead and they turned out amazing.  For our lactose-free friends, I did just goat cheese (without the shredded cheddar) in half and they are gluten free!  You can spice up / change the filling to your liking - it's a really versatile recipe.

Bacon-wrapped Jalepeno Poppers (2 dozen)
from Sally's Baking Addiction

12 jalapeño pepper
8 oz cream cheese (or goat cheese) softened to room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (pepper jack would also be great)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
12 slices bacon, cut in half
24 toothpicks

Cut the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise.  Carefully remove seeds and center membranes.  Set aside.

Mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic and paprika.  You can use a mixer or just a spatula.  Add a little salt to taste.

Spoon filling equally among the 24 jalapeño halves.

Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with a half slice of bacon and stick a toothpick through it to secure.  At this point, you can refrigerate them until you're ready to bake or you can bake them right away.

Line a large baking sheet with foil and then place a cooling rack on top.  Put the jalapeños on the cooling rack (this way, the bacon fat will drip onto the foil).  Bake at 400 degrees 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is done to your liking.  You can turn the oven to broil for the last few minutes to make the bacon nice and crispy.  Serve immediately.

The original recipe says you can cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days . . . we didn't have any leftover!  It also says you can freeze assembled jalapeños for up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and bake as directed.

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