Truth be told, I'm not much of a football fan, but I'll take almost any hours-long, live televised event as an excuse to get my friends together and indulge in my favorite party foods. So even though I'd be hard pressed to even name who's playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday [Um, that would be Pittsburgh and Arizona. --Ed.], I'm eagerly awaiting the big game because it gives me a chance to grill up a batch of stuffed jalapeños, among other things.
Stuffed jalapeños are one of those foods that somehow always causes a reaction way beyond their minimalist recipe. The procedure could hardly be more simple: seed a bunch of jalapeños, stuff with cream cheese (I like adding some cheddar into to mix for mine), top with bacon, and grill or bake for about 30 mins. There's something so right in this combination though. The jalapeños mellow out while cooking, leaving a fruity flavor with only a slight heat that balances out with the cream cheese, and the bacon adds that salty crispiness that brings the whole bite together. These are great hot or at room temperature, making them perfect for setting out, and popping as a long night in front of the television unfolds.
- 24 large jalapeños
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces bacon
Cut off the tops of jalapeños and remove seeds and ribs using a jalapeño corer, apple corer, or small paring knife.
Mix together cream cheese and cheddar. Stuff each jalapeño to the top with cheese mixture.
Cut bacon strips into quarters. Lay 1 quarter strip of bacon on top of each jalapeño, and secure each side by pressing a toothpick through the top of the pepper. Place peppers upright in a chile grill or a foil baking pan with holes cut in it to rest the jalapeños in.
Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Place jalapeños over the cool side of the grill, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, until bacon is cooked and crisp. Serve hot or at room temperature.