Bacon, it has become a meme in the culinary, and non-culinary, world. If you want to put a modern twist on a dish, just fill, warp, infuse, or sprinkle it with bacon. Besides, it's hard to deny the magical and medicinal properties of these skinny pork strips.
This is my spicy, creamy, bacon-y, take on stuffed jalapenos, an excellent hors d'oeuvre, appetizer, or side dish.
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
- 12-15, Jalapenos - I usually try to find small, fat peppers. It makes it much easier to eat with your fingers, in one bite. If you're serving these as a side dish then larger peppers are probably more appropriate. If you, your family, or guests don't like spicy, substitute the jalapenos for something like an Anaheim or even a mini bell pepper.
- 1 Cup (Small Box), Cream Cheese - I usually use non-fat or Neufchâtel cheese because, well you know, bacon.
- 1 tsp, Chipotle Spice - Your local grocery store should sell this. Don't be fooled by the smell, which is almost sweet, this stuff is usually pretty spicy.
- 2 tsp, Brown Sugar - Brown sugar goes excellent with spicy. It also helps offset some of the raw heat of the peppers and chipotle.
- 1 Sleeve, Bacon - Nothing fancy here, and actually you do not want thick cut. It is hard to wrap and takes longer to cook. Substitute turkey bacon, if you're into that sort of thing, blasphemy that is.
- Pairing Knife - Thinner (blade to spine) is better as it needs to fit in the peppers.
- Mixing Bowl
- Plastic Bag or Piping Bag
- Tin Foil
- Cutting Board
Step 2: Prep the Peppers
- Grab, clean, and dry your chosen peppers.
- Slice off the tops, near the stem, of the peppers. You should see the milky green web of the pith that runs down the center of the pepper and attaches to the edges in 2-4 places.
- Slide your knife into a gap in the pith, all the way to the tip of the pepper. With the blade flat on the wall of the pepper, cut the pith from the pepper. You might have to work a little to get the pith cut at the base. Sometimes rolling the pepper in your fingers helps break the pith up.
- Remove and discard the piths. Set the peppers aside.
Step 3: Mix the Filling
In your mixing bowl add the cream cheese, chipotle, and brown suger. Mix until smooth and uniform, add additional seasoning to taste. The mixture is spicier raw, before it gets cooked, than it will be after you cook the bacon. If there is only a little heat when the mixture is raw there likely will be no heat after cooking.
Step 4: Stuff the Peppers
Put the filling into your ziploc bag and cut off one of the bottom corners, or place it into your piping bag. With the tip of the bag in the pepper, squeeze until the filling reaches the top. Repeat until all the peppers are filled.
Step 5: Wrap the Bacon
- Open your bacon, thaw if it was frozen, and put some toothpicks within easy reach.
- Peel one strip of bacon off and garb one of the stuffed peppers.
- Starting at the bottom wrap the bacon around the pepper. Make sure that on the first wrap you overlap the starting edge of the bacon.
- Do the same when you reach the top and then cut any excess.
- Grab a toothpick and push it through the top of the pepper, pinning the bacon in place. You may have to do the same with the bottom if it is loose.
- If you have enough bacon scraps left i like to make little bacon "hats"* to cover the open top of the peppers, pinning the edges of the "hat" with the toothpick.
Step 6: Cook
You can cook these any way you would cook bacon, although I haven't tried the microwave or grill yet. I've found that 20 minutes in the oven and then finished in a pan on the stove top works well.
Step 7: Plate and Enjoy
If you find a better or tastier way to do something please post it! When I have more experience with these I may update this to reflect what I've learned.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy these spicy little bundles of joy!