Jalapeño Packets of Tasty

Welcome to Desa’s Time Portal.  Desa was a lazy butt all summer and fall, blog-wise, so she has built this rather nifty machine to take you back in time to see some of the very few yummy bits that fell out of her kitchen accidentally in the last few months.


Beedeedeedoop beedeedeedoop beedeedeedoop beedeedeedoop beedeedeedoop beedeedeedoop….


Omigosh!  We are back in September!  Sooooo maaaaaaaaaagical!   And what have we here?  Why, they are grilled jalapeño poppers!

Hmm… if we have jalapeños, then we must be back at my going away party.  There was also an awesome mango cake that my sister-in-law brought for me:

The placard was made out of chocolate. I ate it.

But I can’t tell you how to make the cake – it was a white cake with slivers of mango over white frosting and it was fresh and amazing and way out of range of my allotted skill and patience.  So.  We’re stuck with the jalapeños only. Oh well.

This recipe actually comes from my oldest brother, John.  He served in the army for several years and at one time was based out of Texas, where he learned to be quite the barbecue king – enough so that I petitioned a welcome back barbecue with his ribs at center stage.  Before I left.  While the ribs take a day or two to come to peak deliciousness, these little snacks are a great hors d’oeuvres for a not-too-fancy party. They are a little greasy and finger foody for a more upscale soiree, but if you can make it work, do it, because they are really really good.  I actually want one right now, even though I haven’t quite figured out what cut in Spanish is our traditional bacon.  Or where to find jalapeños.

Anyways.  If you do choose to make these, make more than you really think is necessary.  For example, I ate four at my own party, even though everyone else only ate two because 1) it was my party and 2) they were being too slow and polite.  Snooze = lose.

One piece of advice, after I said that they don’t take as long as the ribs to get ready: make them in the morning before you are truly ready to grill because they take about 20 minutes or so to prepare and about 20 minutes to cook.  If you make them ahead of time, you can drink a beer in the sun (or rain) with your guests instead of jamming them together while trying to listen with half an ear to the jokes you are missing.  Also, the cream cheese needs to be truly soft, so set it out even earlier to let it get ready to party.


John’s Jalapeño Poppers

The following ingredients make 24 poppers, which is good for about 8 to 10 people as an appetizer.

12 jalapeños

8 oz softened cream cheese

12 slices of bacon – NOT thick cut, not too fatty.

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

24 toothpicks, presoaked in water

Cut the tops off your peppers, then slice in half lengthwise and clean out all membrane and seeds. BE CAREFUL.  The oil of the peppers will stay clinging to your hands and fingernails for hours after you wash your hands over and over.  And it hurts all your membranes.   Options?  You could use gloves if you happen to have them or you could invest in the most stunning display of kitchen fashion ever…

Oh yes.  I have the anti-onion goggles.  I am super vulnerable to onion fumes – and jalapeño fumes, so if no one is looking, I do actually wear these.  I am fully aware of what a tool I look.  But I don’t cut my fingers open because the world is awash in a blurry capsaicin flood of feigned sadness. And that’s a good thing.


Mix the softened cream cheese with the spices.  What I do is add half the spices, taste, and then add the rest little by little.  These are powerful flavors, and you want everything to balance.  Now fill the jalapeño halves with the cream cheese mixture, either with a spoon or knife or as I do, with a ziplock bag.

If you do choose to go this way, make sure to cut a rather large hole at the bottom so it doesn’t take five years to fill all the peppers.

Cut the bacon in half (hamburger fold, not hot dog fold!) and use half a piece of bacon to wrap each little popper.  Secure with a presoaked toothpick, threading it through the bacon and securing the bacon to the pepper so it all holds together on the grill.


Why do we presoak the toothpicks?  So they don’t catch on fire in the barbecue. Reasonable, I think.

At this point, go ahead and cover them with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge until you are ready for them.  Otherwise, or when the waiting period is over, turn the barbecue onto around 350° F and place the peppers away from direct heat, on a shelf.  Otherwise, the fire will char the bacon and peppers to a crisp before the interior of the peppers softens into that sweet, unctuous texture we want.  Let them sizzle  to themselves for twenty minutes or so.

When the bacon is fully cooked and the cream cheese has taken on a golden hue, take them off the grill, onto a plate, and hide from your guests for about ten minutes.  Otherwise the eager will be rewarded with hot cream cheese burns.  THEN enjoy.


I hope you enjoyed your trip into the past!


1 Response to “Jalapeño Packets of Tasty”

  1. 1 caroline November 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I am loving all of this but where is the gratuitous photo (foto) of your massive ham leg?

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!


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