Just in time for your Cinco de Mayo celebration! Made a batch for a party we’re having tonight and knew I had to share this recipe ASAP so you too, could make ’em for your next fiesta! Olé!!
Ingredients: Makes 24 poppers
- 12 large jalapeño, cut lengthwise and seeded
- 8 oz softened cream cheese (1 block)
- 1/3 cup shredded Mexican Blend cheese
- 3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- Cooking spray
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- sea salt
- Blanch jalapeño halves in boiling water for 5 – 6 minutes (taking care to maintain their bright green color and crisp texture). This will help decrease their spice/heat.
- Drain the water and submerge jalapeños in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Let sit for a few minutes, drain and gently pat dry.
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, Mexican Blend cheese and chopped bacon.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with either a wire rack or a sheet of tinfoil. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Using a small spoon, fill each jalapeño half with approximately 1 tbsp of filling. If you have any left over, go back through and add more to each (it’s OK if they’re overflowing a bit).
- In a small pot, melt the butter over low/medium heat and add the Panko. Stir to incorporate and allow the crumbs to brown just a bit.
- Top each popper with approximately 1 tsp of the Panko crumbs and press gently to make sure they “stick”. Sprinkle each with sea salt.
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until crumbs are browned and filling is melty/bubbly. Serve immediately.
- Some like it hot… skip the blanching if you like a full flavor popper! You will have to increase the baking time by 5 minutes or so.
- If you can’t find shredded Mexican Blend cheese, you can substitute cheddar or even Monterey Jack.
- I make extra filling by adding another 4 oz of cream cheese, doubling the shredded cheese and adding another slice of bacon. We spread this on toasted bagels the next day!!!