The Jalapeno Deluge
I typically plant about 10 jalapeno pepper plants. Half are “regular” and half are “giant”. I start getting them by the boatload in early August, and usually slice and pickle them. But sometimes, there’s not enough to justify a big pickling batch.
Here’s something you can do for either a quick lunch or appetizers, jalapeno poppers. And I found a super easy way to do them. First you need a special rack to hold the peppers upright and keep the melted cheese from going everywhere.
Now you already have the peppers or you wouldn’t be reading this. I prefer to use the giant variety as they fit neatly into the holes in the grill, and the regular ones can sometimes fall through. And if you have grandkids like I do, you have a box of these individually wrapped string cheeses in your fridge. The only thing left is the grill which you can get here. This one comes with a handy-dandy pepper corer, too.
So the preparation is a snap. You cut the hats off the peppers, and clean out the seeds and the membranes along the inside walls. You can control the amount of spiciness by either removing all of these membranes, or leaving a bit. Now you have a dozen or so hollowed-out peppers. And you’ll note that through happy geometric coincidence, the diameter of the string cheese is roughly the same as the hole in the peppers!
Pre-heat your oven to 400-degF.
I like my peppers to be a little on the soft side. To do this, get a pot of water boiling, then toss the peppers in and let them blanch for about 3 minutes. I then fish them out using a pasta server which is ideally suited for this. Out of the boiling water and straight into an ice water bath. Now you have softened peppers.
Drain the peppers and place a piece of string cheese in each. I like to have it flush with the top. Then set the stuffed peppers into the grill.
Now decide if you’re going to be healthy or happy. Bacon wrap or no.
Of course you’re going to want to put bacon on them. You’re not a fanatic, are you? Cut a strip of un-cooked bacon in half and wrap it around the outside of the pepper. Place a toothpick through the bacon, pepper, and cheese to hold everything together.
The toothpicks are handy for holding and eating the finished poppers. The bacon can also help to shim-up the smaller peppers and make them fit into the holes. Place the grill rack onto a cookie sheet to deal with any cheese boil-over or pepper fall-through that might occur. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how soft or crispy you like the bacon.
And voila! You have easy jalapeno poppers that take about 25 minutes to make.
How to make Easy Jalapeno Poppers.
All you need to is 12 large peppers, caps removed and cored, 4 individually wrapped string cheese snack sticks and 6 strips of bacon.
- Pick a dozen or so of the larger peppers.
- Cut the tops off and remove the seeds and membranes creating a nice space for the string cheese
- Blanch the peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately immerse in ice water
- Drain the peppers thoroughly and stuff with pieces of the string cheese. You’ll need about 1 for every 3 peppers. So for a dozen, use 4.
- If desired, wrap the outside of the stuffed peppers with bacon. One strip will cover two peppers. So for a dozen, you’ll need six strips.
- Secure with a toothpick. These are handy later when eating them.
- Put the peppers into the rack being sure that they remain upright. Bake at 400 deg-F for about 20 minutes, or until the bacon is the desired crispness
- Remove and serve while they’re still hot.
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Somehow my sister and her husband manage to walk in just as these are coming from the oven. They complain that they are too spicy, but they always eat more.
Day tripping through the garden (and the kitchen) with Rick
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These poppers are super easy to make using string cheese for stuffing
- 12 - jalapeno peppers
- 4 sticks string cheese
- 6 strips bacon
Remove caps from peppers and core
Blanch peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immerse in ice water
Thoroughly drain peppers and stuff with string cheese
Wrap with a half strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick
Back at 400 deg-F for 20 minutes or until bacon is desired crispness
Remove from oven and serve hot