Hot Grill Summer, Vol. 1: Bacon wrapped jalapenos

As my wife can attest, there are few things that I am more passionate about than food. I mean, I love my children, but get me talking about what pairs best with a reverse seared medium rare ribeye, and I melt while I explain my affinity for twice baked potatoes and grilled asparagus wrapped in salty bacon. 

(Hang on, just to clarify: I love my kids more than food… Most of the time.) 

Having the opportunity to write a food-related column is something that excites me as we enter an incredibly hot summer in Lincoln Parish. 

To that end, I am proud to introduce “Hot Grill Summer” (credit to my lovely wife for the terrific title) where I will walk you through 10 recipes throughout the next few sweltering months. We’ll fire up the wood-pellet grill, dunk chicken in a sous vide, make terrific appetizers, and bake with a 100-year-old cast iron skillet. 

An important note before we continue: not every recipe is my own. I’ve done the hard work of scouring the internet for some of the best recipes I can make and share with you. 

But for the first one, I’ll give you a simple recipe that I’ve come up with that you can serve for appetizers or as a standalone meal if you so choose. We start out with bacon-wrapped jalapenos this week. 

I appreciate brevity when it’s warranted, and having only three ingredients in this particular recipe means you can easily whip this up and enjoy for yourself in less than an hour. 

But let’s start with your trip through the grocery store. First thing is to head to the produce section and make sure you have some pretty big jalapenos to choose from. This is not a recipe for small poppers; no ma’am, you’re going for green glory here. Pick out somewhere between four to eight larger jalapeno peppers (not Anaheim, banana or bell). If you can’t find this many larger peppers, either head to a different store (especially if one of them advertises with the LPJ) or come back at a different time. 

Once you have your peppers, all you’re missing is a small block of plain cream cheese and a package of bacon. Please check out at the register, and do not walk out without paying for your food. 

Now that you’re home, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Next, time to halve your peppers and scooping out the insides and the seeds. I use a grapefruit spoon that I assume one of my parents got as a housewarming gift forty years ago that somehow ended up in my kitchen drawer. I’ve never seen one anywhere else, but dadgum, it works well with jalapenos. Don’t dig too deeply; leave some of the inside pepper to add the spicy flavor when it’s time to dine. 

After you’ve hollowed out your peppers, it’s time to fill with cream cheese. No need to overcomplicate with a filling bag- just use the same spoon and fill the pepper. I like to scrape off the top and level it out. 

Lastly, you’ll wrap your jalapeno with the bacon. You can take a full piece for each half of jalapeno you have now (if you got closer to eight jalapenos in the store, I hope you get a second package of bacon). 

Start by wrapping the back of the pepper at the top and then spiral your way down until the entire jalapeno is covered in bacon (see the picture). 

 

Spray a wired rack over a cooking sheet with some PAM and organize the peppers where they do not touch but are still pretty close together. Carefully place them in the oven and set a time for 25 minutes. 

Once they’re out, let them sit for a few minutes. Remove and put them on a plate and serve! Enjoy with a cold drink of your choosing and enjoy your night. 

I’m so excited to go on this journey with you all this summer. Stay tuned as we have a lot more to go from here. 

Recipe 

Ingredients 

Jalapenos (4 to 8) 

Bacon 

Cream Cheese 

 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

  2. Halve the jalapenos down the middle. Core out the seeds and insides. 

  3. Fill with cream cheese. 

  4. Wrap jalapenos with bacon. 

  5. Place on a greased wire rack over a cooking sheet. 

  6. Cook for 25 minutes. 

  7. Take out and let sit for 5 minutes. 

  8. Enjoy! 


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