Anytequilatalking, though Double Tap has invited RCC and I for the past couple of years, we haven't been able to make it until this year. I decided to attempt to duplicate an appetizer I tried in Salida last week to take along with us, so Part I of this post will be the recipe.
Bacon-wrapped Jalapenos of Happiness
I bought 20 good size jalapenos, cut the stem end off and used a plastic knife to remove the seeds. I then rinsed them with cold water and stood them on end to drain. Oh...and since I'm a contact wearer, I wore gloves for the whole process. Jalapeno juice is no bueno for the eye balls.
I was going to buy soft cream cheese, put it into a cake decorating bag and pipe the cream cheese into the peppers, but RCC had a better idea. He told me to buy the blocks of cream cheese and cut it into chunks I could just slide down into the peppers. He's a pretty brilliant man, I tell you.
Taking the seeds out and stuffing the peppers with cream cheese was the easy part - wrapping them with bacon was kind of tricky. I flopped one end of the bacon over the open end of the pepper and then wrapped the rest of the bacon around the pepper, making sure to "catch" the loose end of the bacon. It took me about ten peppers to really get the hang of it, but once I did the last ten took no time at all.
I put them in the oven at 350 for about half an hour, turned them and stuck them back in for about ten minutes. At this point, I was getting fairly impatient because the bacon was cooked through, but they didn't look pretty. RCC saved the day again - he had me turn on the broiler and crisp them up that way. It only took three minutes or so under the broiler on each side to make them perfect. In addition to crisping up the bacon, the broilder roasted the exposed parts of the jalapeno.
The restaurant served theirs with a pineapple sauce of sorts that was pretty good, but since most of our kitchen is packed up, I didn't attempt the pineapple sauce. Instead, we used a jar of Apple Garlic Garli Glaze from Garlic Festival Foods. The combination of the stuffed jalapenos and the spicy apple glaze was divine.
|I guess they were a hit - |
this is all that was left, a puddle of bacon grease in a pan.