Jalapeno poppers. Jalapeno bites, whatever you call them they have been making the rounds at parties and gatherings for a while now. They interested me but I also shied away from them since I tend to have a low tolerance for spicy dishes. I’ve been slowly working to become more immune because when one has a husband who loves spicy stuff it starts getting harder to avoid it.
I finally decided to tackle bacon wrapped jalapenos. Now, all recipes I have come across just call for some cream cheese in the jalapenos. If you know me, then you’ll know that I consider that too plain. Anyone can do that. I wanted to put a twist in it. Let’s bump this up and play around with it for a little bit and see what happens. I went back and forth thinking about what I could do. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible but still kick up the flavor. Finally it hit me, jalapenos are already spicy (well to me anyway) so let’s stick with that theme and keep the spicy going!
Andrea’s Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
- 4 medium to large jalapenos
- 4 slices of bacon cut in 1/2
- 2 TBSP Cream Cheese
- 1/2-1 TBSP Chunky Salsa
- 1 TBSP Shredded Cheddar
Cut the jalapenos in 1/2 lengthwise and remove all seeds and veins. Make sure not to touch your eyes or face afterwards because you will light yourself on fire and curse yourself. I know because I did it. In a small mixing bowl mix together the cream cheese, salsa, and cheddar. Once that’s mixed start to fill the jalapenos a little bit at a time. You don’t want to overload them or the stuffing will come out as they cook. Once the jalapenos are filled, wrap them with a piece of the bacon. I used a toothpick to secure the bacon in place.
Since the salsa sort of loosens up the cream cheese, it’s helpful at this point to put the jalapenos back in the fridge for a few hours to get the cheeses to set back up. Right before you are going to cook them, heat your oven up to 400. Line a cookie sheet with foil and then place a wire cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. Place the jalapenos on the rack and place in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes or until the bacon becomes nice and crispy. Remove and allow to cool for about a minute then serve!
These turned out to be perfect pockets of spiciness! My husband loved them and made little manly “nom nom” noises as he ate them. Chunky salsa works better than a very smooth salsa because the smooth waters down the cream cheese too much. If the chunky seems to have a lot of juice to it, go ahead and strain some off a bit before adding it to the cream cheese. You can also grill these on your outdoor grill if you’re having an outdoor party.
Admittedly these are addicting so if you are having a party I suggest making more than 8 because otherwise you run the risk of a fight breaking out amongst your guests. When we become adults the cops showing up at a party does not provide the thrill it used to.
Also feel free to remind your guests about the toothpicks if your guests are such who eat before looking or if perhaps they are a little too in the “happy zone” to notice such things. Mouth impalement is not a fun party time activity.
If you find yourself with leftover stuffing mixture, it makes a great dip for chips or veggies. And just to give you something else to ponder, perhaps your guests would like something a little more hardy and while stuffed jalapenos are great they want something bigger. Meatier. And with some beans would be nice too, thank you.
Okay, I will help you out!
Use the cream cheese salsa mixture and build off of that. I’m not giving amounts because it depends on how large your crowd is for how much you’re going to need. Here’s the concept.
Andrea’s Layered Chili Dip
Ground meat (whichever floats your boat) cooked and seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, S&P. To taste, as spicy as you like. Drained and cooled. Layer that in the bottom of a casserole dish. Pinto beans, rinsed and drained, on top of the meat. The cream cheese and salsa mixture (start with a whole container of cream cheese, and 1/2 jar of salsa and if you need more keep going), spread that on top of the meat and beans. Heat in a 400 degree oven until it’s warm and heated through. Remove, top with shredded lettuce, cheddar, and dollops of sour cream if you want to go crazy. Serve with tortillas and veggies.
You can of course lose the meat if you don’t want it and even the beans too. In that case, you don’t even need to heat up the cream cheese and salsa. Just mix it and put it in a small casserole dish topped with the lettuce and cheddar. Ta-da, more variations! Clearly this is a pretty easy dish that can be altered however you like.
Now most all your guests should be happy and content. And if not, time for new friends. I’m just saying this is some good grub and party food.
Have fun guys! And remember, always play with your food!