I once saw a grown man push over a small child to get the last of one of these poppers. He may or may not have been my husband and I couldn’t have been more proud of someone wanting something so badly at that very moment. This recipe is not rocket science and that’s what makes these such great party food. Bring them out for the Superbowl, 4th of July or a random Sunday Funday and you’ll see what I mean. I should also note that if you have some friends or family that are wimps when it comes to chilis, most supermarkets sell baby bell peppers that are a non-fiery alternative. Fire up the grill, crack open a beer and get poppin’ on these Poppers!
For the filling:
½ cup sharp cheddar, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
6 scallions, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp ground cumin
Salt, to taste
2 lbs. bacon
Limes for garnish
Cilantro for garnish
Put all the ingredients for the filling in the food processor and pulse to combine. Scrape down the sides and pulse again until all the herbs and scallions are broken up. Scrape the contents into a pastry bag or ziplock bag and set aside for the flavors to marry. This step can be done up to 3 days ahead of time.
To prep the jalapeños, cut the tops off and using a pairing knife or small spoon, scrape out the insides. If there are a few seeds kicking around inside, it is fine and will just add some extra heat to the popper.
Fill each pepper with some of the cheese mixture and line on a baking sheet. After all of the peppers are filled, wrap them with bacon. Start by covering the top of the pepper where the cheese is exposed and then proceed to wrap the length of the pepper. Turn the pepper and continue around the width of the pepper until you’ve used the entire piece of bacon. Secure the bacon by inserting a toothpick through the pepper and place back on the baking sheet. At this point the peppers can be refrigerated for up to a day or used right away.
Heat the grill to medium heat. Spray the poppers on all sides with cooking spray and place on the grill. Cook until the bacon is crispy and the jalapeños have softened, about 20 minutes, rotating them while cooking.
Serve the jalapeño poppers garnished with some fresh lime, cilantro and of course, ice cold beer.