Add bacon to a jalapeno popper and what do you get, a better version of the ubiquitous jalapeno popper. This version of the appetizer is easy to make and if you’re lucky (and skilled) enough to have a home garden bursting with jalapeno peppers, you’re almost half-way there. The creamy center of this popper cuts the heat of the spicy pepper and the crispy bacon adds a little crunch and smoky salty flavor. The mixing of flavors is delicious and without the heavy fried coating each flavor is discernible. The following recipe and photo above comes from Saveur.
20 large jalapeños (about 1 lb.), halved and seeded
20 strips bacon (about 1 lb.), cut in half
1 lb. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp. chopped chives
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Arrange an oven rack 4 inches from broiler and heat broiler to high.
Place jalapeño halves cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil just until softened, 3-5 minutes; set aside. Place bacon on another baking sheet; broil until fat is rendered and bacon is halfway cooked; set aside. Be sure not to overcook the bacon as it must be pliable in order to wrap the peppers.
Turn oven to 425°. Mix cheeses, chives, cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl. Spoon about 1 tbsp. filling in each jalapeno half. Wrap each with a strip of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Return to baking sheet and bake until bacon is crisp and filling is melted, 10-12 minutes.
Allow poppers to cool then let the popping begin!