Pioneer Woman's BBQ Jalapeno Poppers
There are many different versions of these delightful pop-in-your-mouth jalapenos. My sister-in-law Missy makes a more basic version, stuffing jalapeno halves with plain cream cheese, wrapping them with bacon, and baking them slowly for half an hour or so. When she's feeling particularly mischievous, Missy cooks them on the grill. Either way, they're a real treat. Here's my spin on the old classic.
Important: Wear gloves when working with fresh jalapenos or you'll curse the ground on which I walk because you'll wake up in the middle of the night with throbbing fingertips. And that's nothing compared to what happens if you accidentally scratch your eye -- or worse, something else.
Helpful Hints: Make three times more than you think you'll need. (You'll just have to trust me.)
Poppers can be assembled up to a day ahead of time and kept in the fridge before cooking. Or, they can be fully cooked and frozen in plastic bags until you need them. Just thaw and warm up in the oven before serving.
Unless you're prepared to become instantly addicted, do not place two of these on your hamburger. I mean it. Don't. There'll be no turning back after that.
--Ree Drummond, 'The Pioneer Woman'
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Begin by cutting jalapenos in half lengthwise (see warning in headnote). Try to keep the stems intact. They look prettier that way.
With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and light-colored membranes. Remember: The heat comes from the seeds and membranes, so if you can handle the sizzle, leave some of them intact.
Now, in a bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped green onion. Mix the ingredients together gently. And don't feel you have to use an electric mixer. I do because I'm lazy and don't like to exert myself. Ever. (Too much scrubbing clothes on the washboard, I suppose.)
Next, stuff each hollowed jalapeno half with the cheese mixture.
Wrap bacon slices around each half, covering as much of the surface as you can. Be careful not to stretch the bacon too tightly around the jalapeño, as the bacon will contract as it cooks.
Brush the surface of the bacon with your favorite barbecue sauce. Chutney or apricot jelly works well, too!
Secure the jalapenos with toothpicks and pop them in the oven for 1 hour, or until the bacon is sizzling.
Serve hot or at room temperature, and watch them disappear within seconds. I've seriously caught guests stuffing these into their purses. Sometimes I have to call law enforcement.
For a simpler version, omit the cheddar and green onion from the cream cheese.
Cut sliced peaches or pineapple into small bits and press them into the cream cheese before wrapping the jalapenos in bacon.
Use Pepper Jack cheese in place of the cheddar cheese.