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Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Poppersphoto courtesy of my cousin Joe

My extended family and friends (21 adults, 14 children) spent the weekend at a big house in Mi-Wuk Village, about 2.5 hours east of the Bay Area in Tuolumne County. These weekends are special to me.

My mom was the middle of 7 children and every Sunday we all spent the day together at my grandparents’–women cooking and gossiping, men chatting and playing cards, and all the cousins (20 total) running around (cliche but true). Every summer, we took a 7-10 day camping trip with the whole brood.

Though many of us are still very close, such gatherings are less frequent. Our grandparents have since passed and we all have our own busy lives. When we do get together, it is always like old times–a lot of food and laughing but probably a lot more booze. I’m glad my nieces and nephews are a part of the experience and hope they’re just as close growing up.

My contribution to this weekend’s gluttony was bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, which my friend Jamie makes for us often. They don’t require fancy ingredients and are super simple. I like this version much better than the fried and blandly breaded version from Friday’s, especially due to the addition of bacon.

The spiciness of jalapenos can vary wildly (what we jokingly refer to as jalapeno roulette) so if you cannot handle the heat, consider using bell peppers, which an 11-year-old smartly suggested this weekend.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

  • 25 jalapenos (red bell peppers if you want to make a kid-friendly version)
  • 2 packages cream cheese (light works just as well)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 packages of bacon
  • toothpicks
  1. Turn the oven on broil
  2. Halve jalapenos and scrape out the seeds and membranes (or leave some in for more heat)
  3. Stuff jalapeno halves with cream cheese, top with cheddar, wrap with bacon (I use a half slice) and secure with a toothpick
  4. Bake in the oven until the bacon is crisp and jalapenos are cooked through (15-20 minutes)

Though it is not necessary, placing the jalapenos on a rack helps separate the poppers from the bacon grease. Other ideas I will consider for next time will be pre-cooking the bacon and adding it to the cheese mixture so as to lower the bacon-grease factor. For additional crunch, maybe I’ll sprinkle panko on top.

Mi-Wuk VacationI used plastic bags to protect my hands from getting spicy when handling the jalapenos.
I didn’t want to risk having spicy fingers when I took out my contacts.

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  1. April 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

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