Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Appetizers are those little things you eat until you lose your appetite…

Having lived in Texas now for almost five years, I have come to love the jalapeno. I also love the chili pepper and the hatch peppers that come in the fall. Today, though, we’re going to talk jalapenos.

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Specifically, jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. YUM. As we all know, anything wrapped in bacon has to be good.

These little appetizers are so easy to make and are always a hit.

Choose jalapenos that are firm and not too big. Slice your jalapenos in half and take out the seeds. I highly recommend wearing gloves for this because jalapeno juice stings the eyes. You may think you don’t have any on your hands when you touch your face, but you will be wrong. Not that it has happened to me once or twice.

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Your next ingredients are bacon and cream cheese. Let the cheese sit out while you’re slicing and seeding the jalapenos, so it can soften up a little bit. Then put it in a heavy zip lock bag and cut off a corner.

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Putting the cheese in the bag makes it easier to spread on the jalapenos, and keeps mess to a minimum. Just squeeze a line of cheese into the hull of the jalapeno. Before you wrap the bacon around them, sprinkle a little bread crumbs over the top. This makes a little crust and keeps the cheese from going all over in the oven.

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Thick cut bacon works the best. Cut the bacon slices in half and use one piece for each jalapeno. Place on foil covered cookie sheet.

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These are a nice make-ahead appetizer, because at this point, you can keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. They taste best when they’re still warm. When you’re ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 425°. Cook for 25 minutes, uncovered, until bacon is crispy.

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Your kitchen will smell like bacony goodness. Who doesn’t love the smell of bacon?

Ta-da! Yummy appetizers, Texas style!

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I have made these twice in the last week and have brought home an empty plate, every time.

Enjoy!

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