I have been reading The Pioneer Woman Cooks for quite some time. Written by Ree Drummond, the blog features recipes intertwined with entertaining and soulful stories of life on a working ranch, caring for her kids and husband, holidays with family, and the seemingly endless number of people she knows. But it’s the photos that captivate, making the blog feel like you’re reading a photo-journal created by your best friend.
Published in October of 2009, The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook follows the blog’s visually striking theme. This is the perfect book for someone who may not feel entirely comfortable in the kitchen, with tons of gorgeous instructional photographs and a laid-back, take-it-easy style of cooking. It’s also a great book for people who love meat, meat, cream, butter, and meat, which I do.
These BBQ Jalapeño Poppers are not only delicious, but they are wickedly fun to make; probably because you know you’re about to serve your guests something irresistible. They’ve got cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce. They’re about as evil as a finger food can get.
If you are judicious about removing the peppers’ veins and seeds, you’ll have no spiciness, leaving just the flavor of the jalapeño. Next time, I’d likely leave some of the veins in as I missed the heat. Ree mentions a variation to add pineapple before wrapping the poppers in bacon, which I desperately wanted to try but ran out of time. I’m a little glad about that. Glazing the bacon with BBQ sauce makes these taste like pig candy, so no extra sweetness is needed here. Lastly, do what the recipe says and use a thin cut of bacon (or pound out a thick cut). I used Niman Ranch which is cut thicker than your typical supermarket brand, and I think the bacon could be a little crisper than what I achieved.
These made a great finger-food snack for our Sunday poker game, and fulfilled a promise I made to make a jalapeño-poppers-with-bacon recipe over the weekend for my friend Kip. So, with thanks to Karol who sent me the book for my birthday, these are for you, Kip.
BBQ Jalapeño Poppers
by Ree Drummond
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
©2009 WM Morrow
There are many different versions of these delightful pop-in-your-mouth jalapeños. My sister-in-law Missy makes a more basic version, stuffing jalapeño halves with plain cream cheese, wrapping them with bacon, and baking them slowly for half an hour or so. When she’s feeling particularly mischievous, Missy cooks them on the grill. Either way, they’re a real treat. Here’s my spin on the old classic.
Important: Wear gloves when working with fresh jalapeños or you’ll curse the ground on which I walk because you’ll wake up in the middle of the night with throbbing fingertips. And that’s nothing compared to what happens if you accidentally scratch your eye – or worse, something else.
- 18 fresh jalapeños
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 18 slices thin bacon, cut into halves
- Bottled barbecue sauce
- Rubber gloves (or plastic bags) for working with jalapeños
1. Preheat oven to 275°F.
2. Begin by cutting jalapeños in half lengthwise (see warning in headnote). Try to keep the stems intact. They look prettier that way.
4. Now, in a bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped green onion. Mix the ingredients together gently. And don’t feel you have to use an electric mixer. I do because I’m lazy and don’t like to exert myself, ever. (Too much scrubbing clothes in the washboard, I suppose.)
5. Next, stuff each hollowed jalapeño half with the cheese mixture.
6. Wrap bacon slices around each half, covering as much of the surface as you can. Be careful not to stretch the bacon too tightly around the jalapeño, as the bacon will contract as ti cooks.
8. Secure the jalapeños with toothpicks and pop them in the oven for 1 hour, or until the bacon is sizzling.
9. Serve hot or at room temperature, and watch them disappear within seconds. I’ve seriously caught guests stuffing these into their purses. Sometimes I have to call law enforcement.
Helpful Hints: Make three times more than you think you’ll need. (You’ll just have to trust me.)
Poppers can be assembled up to a day ahead of time and kept in the fridge before cooking. Or, they can be fully cooked and frozen in plastic bags until you need them. Just thaw and warm up in the oven before serving.
Unless you’re prepared to become instantly addicted, do not place two of these on your hamburger. I mean it. Don’t. There’ll be no turning back after that. (I’m dying to try this. -taetopia)
- For a simpler version, omit the cheddar and green onion from the cream cheese.
- Cut sliced peaches or pineapple into small bits and press them into the cream cheese before wrapping the jalapeños in bacon.
- Use pepper jack cheese instead of the cheddar cheese.
© 2010, taetopia. All rights reserved.