Each summer, I hosted a BBQ for my extended family. It worked great because Springfield was an handy spot for family to come from Bloomington, St. Louis and Quincy. Ben and Rodney cohosted the event, rolling over their grills and helping get everything together. They were my guardian angels and the best neighbors a single girl in her first house could have asked for.
So, as one of my dishes one year, I decided to put my jalapenos to use. I stuffed them with cheese and wrapped them in bacon and cooked them on the grill. I am not sure where I got the idea, as it seems like they weren't so popular at the time... but they were a hit. I made dozens of pepper and they were promptly devoured. Ever since, we have had grilled stuffed peppers in one form or another every summer.
My dad loves to make stuffed jalapenos too. We have them almost every week for family dinners when they are in season. He has a huge garden at the farm, so he was a plethora of chili peppers. He makes them into hot sauce, dehydrates them for use during the winter and makes his own red pepper flakes. He has a huge dehydrator, and you can really tell when he is doing his hot peppers!
Anyway, he makes his peppers a little different than we do ours. We tend to go heavy on cream cheese with some grated cheese mixed in. Pops prefers to do his mostly hard cheese with just enough cream cheese to hold it together (and sometimes he does all hard cheese!)
He cleaned some out last summer and stuck them in the freezer for an occasion just like this. They turned out really yummy! One of my sisters ate at least a dozen of them, but I won't tell you which one!! I freeze jalapenos every year too. I freeze them whole and slice them right out of the freezer for chili and casseroles etc. during the winter. I have never used frozen jalapenos like this, but I may have to!
Pop's Stuffed Jalapenos
A couple of dozen jalapenos
8 oz shredded cheddar
4 oz cream cheese
dash of garlic salt (optional)
(he sometimes adds a couple of slices of chopped bacon, but didn't in these)
- Mix together cream cheese, cheddar and garlic salt (and bacon if you're using it)
- Remove tops and cores from jalapenos. If you want to enjoy them, remove as many seeds as you can find. If you are a bit more sporting, leave some in. Pops cleaned these out pretty good because they were for a mixed crowd. Usually Matt and pops both like to leave a few. Sometimes they leave too many and sweat and cry as they tell us how much they love the heat. It is like playing a game a roulette when you leave those two to make peppers!
- Stuff peppers with filling.
- We normally cook them on the grill. We both have trays that hold the peppers upright and keep the cheese inside. Otherwise, you can cut your peppers in half lengthwise and cook them on a tray. Since these peppers were cooked in the middle of a snowstorm, they were baked (which works great too). Bake them at 375 F until the cheese is melty and the pepper is cooked, usually 10-15 minutes.
A bonus mouthwatering picture:
My dad is excellent at making deer sausage. He starts with the whole animal and does his own butchering. He makes THE BEST grilled marinated loins in a bul kogi marinade, I am sure he will share that recipe when summer rolls around. He grinds most everything else. Some of that ground meat is turned into really good summer sausage. He also made some into Italian sausage.
Here is a picture of some meatballs he made using his homemade venison Italian sausage:
Don't tell him I said this, but he is a pretty talented guy!