This weekend was a blur. A fantastic and wonderful weekend, but a blur nonetheless. My most excellent, funny and generous sister and her fiance came to visit this weekend from Asheville, NC to celebrate my most excellent, funny and generous uncle's birthday. It was a big one (Uncle Tommy would have you believe it was the big 3-0, and I'll never tell otherwise). Fire pits, jam sessions, weenie roasts, champagne, and Close Encounters of the Doggie kind were all critical components. Top it all off with the Duke Chapel Choir and the birthday boy singing a most incredible performance of Be Still My Soul commissioned by said birthday boy himself, it was a weekend to remember.
While I did do a little cooking this weekend (some pretty yummy veggie burgers to be featured soon), I didn't capture any photos. Remember all those photos in my phone from past cooking adventures I failed to post about? Here's where they come to the rescue. One of my favorites was also the simplest. Three ingredients combined to create a flavor explosion. It doesn't get much easier or delicious than Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. They're nutritionally a far cry from the veggie burgers, but Great Oden's Raven they're good!! And if you really wanted, you could make them vegetarian or vegan by substituting the bacon for "fake" bacon and vegan "cream cheese."
Several medium to large jalapeno peppers (or other medium sized pepper of your choice)
1 block cream cheese or cream cheese substitute
1/2 lb bacon
Wood or metal skewers
This is a great side dish or appetizer to make when you're already firing up the grill for something else. Make sure you have your grill getting hot while you prepare to skewer your peppers. If you'd prefer to cook them in the oven, go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
1. Using a small paring knife, cut a slit in one side of your pepper lengthwise from end to end. Do not cut all the way through. You want to be able to gently squeeze each end toward the other so it opens up like a cute little spicy coinpurse. I totally won't make fun of you if you wear gloves while making these. Peppers can burn, baby. Scrape out the insides of the peppers (seeds and membrane). If you want your poppers really spicy, you can leave more of the guts inside. It should look like this:
2. Cut off a small slab of cream cheese and stuff it into your gutted pepper. Like so:
3. Wrap each stuffed pepper with half a slice or a whole slice of bacon, depending on how big your peppers are (or how awesome you want it). It's fine if some of the bacon overlaps.
4. Thread your stuffed, bacon-clothed and blissed out peppers onto a skewer for easy grill flippage. Three to a skewer works out nice.
Grill on indirect heat (away from the hottest parts of the grill) about five minutes on each side, or until bacon is lightly browned and cooked through. If you're using an oven, try baking them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 5 minutes on each side, or until bacon is cooked through. I haven't tested the oven method, so keep an eye on them. Serve as an appetizer or alongside your meal. You're gonna want a beer (or two) and maybe a bat to keep all the men flocking to your house at bay and away from your precious vittles.
Are you making them tonight?! I can't wait to hear how they turn out.