Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cocktail Party Week.....Day 7.....Stuffed Jalapenos




To recap the week, we've had bruschetta that included a little seafood, a spicy meatball, a hot pizza dip, a cold creamy chickpea dip,  a buttery puff pastry loaded with ham and cheese, and a little crunch with the selection of nuts!  I'm sure there's some health freak out there asking where the vegetable option is, soooo.......I offer you peppers.  Never mind that I'm going to stuff them with a cream cheese and bacon mixture!!  It's the holidays and you only have to eat one!  I'll bet you can't.  But you can try!


  

This stuffing is a perfect creamy foil for a spicy jalapeno pepper, but we all have those friends and relatives that can't handle the heat, so I thought these mini sweet peppers would be a suitable alternative for the wimps in your life!!  I've started seeing packages of these everywhere so they shouldn't be too hard to find.



I like to serve these sprinkled with some fresh cilantro for freshness and a dollop of sour cream because, well, I love sour cream!  And it's the right thing to do.

Here's the recipe:

Stuff Jalapenos
this one is my own!


Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, fried and chopped (if you can't find it, regular bacon is fine)
8 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded (I used a habanero jack cheese which made for an extra spicy mix, however you can use regular pepper jack or even a mild or sharp cheddar if you want to limit the heat.  Whatever turns you on!)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cotija cheese to sprinkle on top (This is a white cheese used in mexican cooking)
20 peppers....your choice of jalapeno or sweet


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 deg. F.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray foil with non-stick spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the remaining ingredients except for the Cotija cheese and mix well.

Slice the peppers in half, length ways, and scoop out the seeds and ribs.  Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the pepper and smooth down the top.  Line up the stuffed peppers on the sheet tray and sprinkle with the Cotija cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the stuffing is bubbling and lightly browned.  Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh, chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream for dipping.

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