Found on page 57 of my Ranch Raised Cookbook!
Photography by Charity Burggraaf
At Brians’ family gatherings, we divide up meal duties and I’m usually assigned “Mary’s famous bacon-jalapeño poppers” by my sister-in-law. I love the spicy, fresh kid of barely backed jalapeños (possibly my favorite ingredient!), and Brian has to walk away from the appetizer tray or he’ll eat them all before anyone else can get a bite. These come out of the oven molten hot, but it doesn’t stop them from being snapped up before you can blink. If you want to double the bacon – always a good idea – you can top each popper with a piece of crispy bacon when they come out of the oven.
Makes 6-8 servings
- 2 thick-cut slices smoked bacon (about 3 ounces total), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup dried fine bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed shredded cheddar or Jack cheese, or a combination
- 1 green onion (white and green parts), finely chopped
- 12 medium jalapeños
In a small skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the bread crumbs, and the paprika. In another bowl, stir together the cream cheese, cheddar, the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, the reserved bacon, and the green onion until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise, then use a teaspoon to scoop out and discard the seeds (it’s a good idea to wear gloves when doing this). Arrange the jalapeño halves on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Fill each jalapeño half with some of the cream cheese mixture. Press the filled jalapeño into the bread crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into the cheese, then return to the baking sheet.
Place in the oven and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 15 minutes. If you like, turn on the broiler to brown them a bit more. Let cool slightly, then serve.
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