Eating stuffed jalapeños makes me feel feisty. I don’t know if it is because the capsaicin in the peppers gives me an extra jolt of energy or what, but I absolutely love the taste, the way they feel in my mouth, and the way they look. While they’re cooking, the aroma beckons us to the kitchen. You can make them lots of different ways. Get creative! Leave out the meat (and leave off the bacon) for your vegetarian friends. (I read last week that bacon is the gateway to eating meat for some vegetarians. It’s hard for some to resist the smell and sizzle, much less the glorious taste.)
Start by slicing the jalapeños in half vertically. Unless you crave pain, don some food prep gloves first.
I prefer to cut and de-seed all the peppers up front. While I’m doing so, the cream cheese is softening. After de-seeding, I assemble my remaining ingredients for stuffing.
Pictured above is a handy spiral tool made just for the purpose of gorging the seeds out of these hot babies. It works particularly well if you are simply slicing the top of the jalapeños, removing the seeds and stuffing the pepper whole, We do that occasionally. Most of the time, however, I prefer to slice them in half and stuff the halves.
When you have the vertically sliced jalapeños, the gadget that does an amazing job of seed removal is a grapefruit spoon! With the serrated edges at the tip, it loosens them from the flesh underneath and you’re seed-free in no time!
What you stuff your peppers with is your business. What’s stuffed in the peppers stays in the peppers. It’s your little secret. I’ll tell you my favorite mixtures and you can riff on them:
- Cream cheese with a bit of low carb pineapple jam.
- A small amount of cream cheese mixed with a glob of shredded cheddar and some salsa.
- Cream cheese, black soybeans, salsa.
- Cream cheese, crumbled cooked sausage, minced garlic, minced parsley.
- Natural peanut butter or almond butter mixed with a bit of Splenda. (No, I’m not kidding. My friend Shirley and her daughter, Karla, are responsible for this addiction.)
- Cream cheese and bleu cheese.
- Cream cheese, chopped pecans, a touch of Splenda, raspberries or chopped pear.
Make more than one filling, if you have time. Variety is so lovely. Mix together whatever you’ve determined to be your idea of pepper stuffing heaven. Taste just a smidge. Adjust. Stir again, and start stuffing!
You want to put a generous amount in each pepper. Then decide whether or not to wrap in bacon and secure with toothpicks.
You can see what I decided! 😉
Bake in a 400 degree oven (preheated, of course) until the bacon is brown and crisp. Savor them immediately.
For an extra dash of color, you can also use the same techniques and fillings on beautiful red peppers, either the mini sweet variety or the larger anaheim pepper shape. The little ones are compact and easy to grab and eat as appetizers, but they lack the kick you get from jalapeños.