In my mind I refer to these as bacon-wrapped heaven. I made these little nuggets for a BBQ at my parents’ house on the first football Sunday of the year. They are stuffed with a cheddar-cream cheese mixture before being wrapped in thick-cut bacon and grilled. I’m not sure if I will ever stop craving them. Wish me luck!
Do you watch (and enjoy) football? I ask because I used to be indifferent to (as well as bewildered by) football until I met BC, who is a huge New York Giants fan. After being bombarded by near-nonstop football from September to February, he suggested I join his Fantasy Football league. Probably so I would stop bugging him to change the channel or actually go out and do something on Sundays. It worked. I won the championship in his league my second year and have been hooked ever since.
So back to these peppers. I was at the supermarket and in the produce section, they had a little display with things to throw on the grill like pre-seasoned corn and pre-cut fajita peppers and onions. They also had jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. So, when my parents had us over for a carne asada BBQ (my fave), I decided to make something similar as an appetizer. Since I wanted a more pronounced bacon flavor, I wrapped them in bacon instead of using crumbled bacon.
When you cut them in half and scrape out the seeds, also scraping out a bit of the membrane under the seeds will remove a lot of the spiciness of the pepper. I like to do that with these so that the cheese and bacon flavors come through more clearly.
When you put the jalapenos on the grill, the fire flares as the bacon grease drips down. I didn’t know that this would happen, so there was some shrieking involved on my part. Whoops! However, it’s that flame licking up the sides of the jalapeños that give them that little bit of a char and crisp up the bacon, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Taking pictures of food requires a lot of patience that I find difficult to maintain. These little peppers required more restraint than usual. The cheese that slid off this pepper went straight into my mouth after this picture was taken. The whole pepper soon followed.
- 12 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and de-seeded
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt (I used Lawry's)
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 12 slices thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise
- In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, seasoned salt, and paprika until fully combined.
- With a butter knife or small spoon, spread cheese mixture inside each pepper half.
- Wrap each pepper half with the sliced bacon.
- Over a medium-high grill, grill each pepper cheese side up for 5-7 minutes or until peppers are slightly charred and bacon has reached desired crispiness.
- To get the bacon to stay on the pepper, I just smushed the edge of the bacon a little bit into the cream cheese mixture before wrapping it around the pepper. It worked really well and almost all of the bacon slices stayed on the peppers.