My former Pius XI classmate, Dave Quick, posted a photo on Facebook of an appetizer he was preparing for the Badger Boys NCAA run. They looked amazing and when I asked him to share the recipe, he gladly did so right away. The recipe calls for making them in the oven, but can easily be adapted for the grill. As far as I can tell, it comes from a site called Rants From My Crazy Kitchen. Bacon, cheese, heat.. what more could you ask for?
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4 green onions (both green and white parts) sliced (may substitute 4 tablespoons of chopped white or yellow onion)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
25 slices of thin bacon, cut in half crosswise (approximately 2 pounds)
25 fresh jalapenos, halved and seeded
Rubber gloves for handling the jalapenos
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Generally I wouldn’t wear gloves to slice a few jalapenos, but with 25, you’re going to get some heat. So while wearing gloves slice the jalapeno in half, length wise, then use a teaspoon to gently scrap out the membranes and seeds from each half. If you want them a little spicier, leave a few seeds in the halves, but not too many because depending the jalapenos, it could be very hot.
In a bowl beat the cheeses, onion and garlic together with a mixer. Using a teaspoon, fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture, then wrap half a piece of bacon around each filled jalapeno, covering as much of the cheese as possible. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to secure the bacon and place the jalapenos on a rack over a sheet pan to catch the bacon grease. Bake the poppers for about an hour, or until the bacon is sizzling. This recipe can also be made without the bacon (why you’d want to, I don’t know).
Jalapeno heat levels can vary from mild to hot and progressively get hotter the older they get, eventually turning bright red. As they mature, they develop white lines and flecks running the length of the pepper. The smoother the pepper the younger and milder it is; the more white lines,the older and hotter it is. Red jalapenos can be very hot if they have a lot of striations, but can also be sweeter (still hot, but sweeter).