Do you like spicy foods? If you live in Texas, you probably do. One of my favorite things is stuffed jalapenos. I first made them when we hosted my husband's 50th birthday party (that's a whole other post with some great ideas).
Since that party, we've varied them a bit, but they're always a hit with guests. And if you're not too picky, they make a meal unto themselves, since you have your meat, dairy and veggie all rolled into one! (I'm going to forewarn you that this is a very labor-intensive dish, so if you're not crazy about jalapenos, you might prefer to make something else).
Here's the recipe: Preheat grill (You can also bake them on a cookie sheet at 375) Fresh jalapenos (quantity depends on how many people you're feeding and how well you like them) 1 brick cream cheese -- room temperature 1 pound grated cheddar cheese 1-2 packages of bacon Toothpicks or skewers Note: There are several variations of these on the Internet. This recipe is what we've determined to work best for us.
First and foremost, get yourself some thin rubber gloves like doctors wear. You can thank me for this tip later.
Wash jalapenos thoroughly, cut off tops and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. (The heat from jalapenos comes from the seeds, so if you're a lightweight, be sure and get ALL the seeds). Put halves back together, and set aside.
Blend cheeses together. If you're lucky enough to have a stand mixer, use the same tool you'd use for mixing cookie dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, you might want to slip on another pair of rubber gloves and blend with your hands.
Slice bacon strips in half. We microwave them for a minute or two, because we've found they don't get quite done enough if not precooked a bit first.
Put a little ball of cheese, about an inch in diameter (depends on the size of your pepper), into each jalapeno and put halves back together. Then wrap with a half-slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick, or put on a skewer.
We put a brick on each end of the grill and rest the skewers end to end on the bricks. Grill (or bake) till bacon is done, cheese is melted, and peppers are a bit roasted and soft.
Variations: We bought a jalapeno corer that works great if you want to cut the tops off and keep the pepper whole. I can't find that particular one online, but I did find this one from Cabela's. You would want a jalapeno corer if you decide to also use a jalapeno stand that can be placed on a grill -- also available at Cabela's.
I've seen this recipe with just cream cheese or cream cheese and parmesan. You could also add a little shrimp or scallop. Instead of bacon, you could use proscuitto. Any way you choose, this is a crowd-pleasing dish!