Intro: Lovely Bacon-wrapped Jalapenos
This is possibly one of the best things you can do with cream cheese! Or bacon, or jalapeños for that matter. It's a great snack food, perfect for parties or for impressing love interests. Who can't resist the alluring aroma of bacon, accompanied by creamy cheesy goodness and sexy jalapeños?
This recipe is simple and super minimal, with only three ingredients.
What you'll need:
Fresh whole jalapeños
Bacon (if you live in the US, Trader Joes' applewood smoked bacon is most delectable)
Kitchen items: cutting board, sharp knife, and a glass casserole dish or pie tin
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Slice jalapeños in half lengthwise. Scrape out the center flesh and all or most of the seeds. If you want to keep some of the heat, leave some seeds in. Keep in mind that not all jalapeños are created equally. I personally like a bit of heat, but if I leave some seeds in, sooner or later I'll run away crying.
Fill the jalapeño halves with cream cheese. Don't be shy.
Cut the bacon slices in half crosswise. Wrap a half-slice of bacon around each jalapeño slice. If you have trouble getting the slices to stay wrapped, you may either use longer (or whole) bacon slices, or skewer them with toothpicks to keep them together. Make sure to soak the skewers beforehand in water, or else they will burn.
Place the little bundles of joy in a dish and into the oven. Don't use a cookie sheet or dish without sides, because the bacon fat will drip off, and your oven will smell like bacon for weeks. I speak from experience. Actually, bacon-infused cupcakes aren't that bad.
Cook them in the oven for about 45 minutes, checking them periodically for crispness. If you like your bacon crispier, cook them for longer. Optional step: at the 30-minute mark, take out the dish and drain the bacon fat into a heavy glass jar, and return the dish to the oven. This will keep the the jalapeños from getting soggy at the bottom. Don't use a regular drinking glass because the extreme heat may crack the glass.
When they're done to your liking, let 'em cool, and enjoy. Thank God for being at the top of the food chain.
Optional flavorings: although these hors d'oeuvres are flavored perfectly, see the last photo for a few ingredients we sometimes like to experiment with. Be creative!
Optional grilling: for a nice smoky flavor, try grilling them over a wood-burning fire. They make great snacks outdoors.