Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

It's football season, and that means football food. These grilled stuffed jalapeños will do two things for you: 1) Make you wish you'd seen this recipe sooner and 2) Lead your team to victory. At least that's the case if you're an Alabama fan in 2011. I made these; my team won. Correlation? My dad and I threw these on the grill a few weeks ago, and we were thrilled with the result. Seriously, these are good.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

2 slices center-cut bacon
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
14 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded (GLOVES!!!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped seeded tomato
Cooking spray

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon. Combine crumbled bacon, cheeses, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a bowl, stirring to combine. Divide cheese evenly and fill the pepper halves.

3. Place peppers, cheese side up, on grill rack or grill grate coated with cooking spray. Cover and grill peppers 8 minutes or until bottoms of peppers are charred and cheese mixture is lightly browned.

4. Place the peppers on a serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and tomato.

There are a lot of jalapeños to slice and seed, so let me go ahead and warn you to wear gloves. Not a glove but gloves. It was because of my stubborn "oh, I can just wear one glove for getting the seeds out" attitude that led me to soak my left hand in milk a couple of hours later. Unless you enjoy burning pain under your fingernails, glove both your hands. Bad memories. Moving on! My whole peppers are in a Stainless Mesh Colander, and the seeds are in a 2-Cup Prep Bowl. The 5" Santoku from the Forged Cutlery Collection is laid out on the Large Grooved Cutting Board, and everything is over the sink to maximize counter space.

I love a simple recipe, especially when it leads to amazing appetizers. I'm using the Citrus Press, the Coarse Grater, the Garlic Press, the Measure-All Cup, and an Adjustable Measuring Spoon for my filling.

The Classic Batter Bowl is perfect for this mixture, and its clear sides let you see all the pretty colors through the bowl. You know, pretty like the color of bacon. Give this a good stir with the Mix 'n Scraper, and you'll be ready to fill the peppers in no time.

I used the scoop and spread method to fill the peppers: Small Scoop of filling and then spread later. Put them on the Grill Tray as you fill them, and get ready for magic.

Unless you have a brand new grill, it's difficult to make a grilling picture look pretty. Cover the Grill Tray with foil, and let these babies cook. The Grilling Tongs are helpful for checking the peppers, and they're long enough to keep your hands and arms away from the heat.

Roll Tide, and make peppers. Wear gloves.

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