My mom makes awesome jalapeño “poppers” in the summer with her homegrown jals. They aren’t breaded and deep-fried like the kind out of the box (although, who doesn’t like those?) — they’re oven-baked. Even so, they are far from being healthy. And I can never, EVER stop at just one. Or two. And rarely can I stop at three.
On the way to family dinner at my parent’s house last weekend, the BBF says, “I hope your mom makes those jalapeños!” And in that moment, I saw an opportunity to remind him just how great I am.
And so a lightened up (but not entirely light) version of Mom’s Jalapeño Poppers was born.
Here’s her recipe and how I changed it.
Mom’s Jalapeño Poppers
- Brick cream cheese (Neuftachel cheese)
- Handful shredded parm or other shredded cheese (2% sharp cheddar)
- Garlic clove
- Scallion or two
- 2 hotdog-size chorizo fried in a pan and chopped (I left it out)
- Maybe garlic salt
- Maybe Texas Pete
- Maybe ground pepper
- Jalapeños, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out for milder spice
- Bacon, cut in halves (center cut, cut in thirds)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a pan grate or cooling rack on top of the foil.
Mix all ingredients together except jalapeños and bacon. Fill jalapeños with cheese mixture. Top each jalapeño with bacon slices.
Place jalapeños on prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bacon is crisp.
When you cook it like this, the bacon fat drips down into the cheese and pepper. Next time, I might cook the jalapeños and the bacon separately, so I can drain off a lot of that bacon grease. Then just press a peice of crispy, dry bacon into the melted cheese.
The BBF didn’t know that I made these jalapeñoes with slightly healthier ingredients. They were a little different than Moms, but I don’t think either of us were left wanting. I’m going to say the BBF gave them a 5/5 rating, as he did rave about them and eat almost the whole plate. I also give them a 5/5 rating! A little lighter and everyone’s still happy. 🙂