Jalapeño Poppers are like potato chips, I dare you to eat only one. If you are preparing poppers for a party, I encourage you to make more than you think you need. In fact, I purposefully choose not to serve poppers as appetizers because everyone will fill up on these tasty bites before dinner is served. My recommendation is to serve the poppers as a side dish, especially alongside steak. If you have any poppers leftover, which is unusual indeed, thickly slice the peppers and tuck inside an omelette.
|Avalon prepping the jalapeños.|
Avalon's Jalapeño Poppers
I prefer using brined and cooked shrimp, but when I'm in a hurry, I reach into the freezer and locate the bag of pre-cooked frozen shrimp (with tails removed). Also, you can use all cream cheese, but we prefer the mix of cream cheese and chèvre mixed together. You can make poppers successfully in the oven and also on the grill.
20 to 30 large shrimp, brined, then cooked and cooled
20 medium to large jalapeños
cream cheese, or chèvre cheese, or a combination of the two mixed together
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
uncured apple smoked bacon (or your favorite)
about 40 toothpicks
parchment paper, optional
Bleu Cheese dressing
baking sheet lined with parchment, if baking in the oven
perferrated cooking tray designed for the barbecue (preferrably non-stick for easy clean-up)
chili pepper grilling set - note: the pepper corer included with the set works great
1. Prep and cook the shrimp, or use precooked shrimp, slightly defrosted.
2. Let the cream cheese and chèvre cheese come to room temperature.
3. Slice off the top of each pepper and discard. We recommend using a coring tool to remove the seeds and ribs.
4. Mix the cream cheese and chèvre together and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
5. Preheat the grill or oven (400°F).
6. With a spoon or a pastry bag or your finger, scoop up some of the cheese mixture and push it to the bottom of the chili pepper, insert a whole shrimp (or cut in half, if necessary), and cover with additional cheese mixture. Wrap one piece of bacon several times around the jalapeño and secure with one or two toothpicks. Transfer to tray and repeat with the rest of the peppers.
7. To bake in the oven: Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until the peppers are tender and the bacon is cooked and crispy. Serve immediately.
8. Too cook on the grill: Grill over indirect heat, with the lid down, for 25 to 30 minutes until the peppers are tender and the bacon is crispy, turning a couple of times. Serve immediately.
|While transferring poppers to the serving tray, remove the toothpicks.|