Raise your hand if you’ve had this happen: you pick up a lovely little Jalapeno Popper. What looks to be a perfect bit of deliciousness. And that first bite is crunchy raw jalapeno, then bacon pulls off in a chunk, and adding insult to injury, slaps you in the chin with some kind of random, greasy, molten cheesiness. Bummer.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Roast those babies, low and slow. And I mean really give them some lovin’ in the oven. Let that jalapeno slowly cook away into a beautiful spicy sweetness, let the bacon render over this flavorful crab filling and you’ll be rewarded with the best darned popper you can imagine.
When I say give them some time, I mean REALLY give them time. An hour to an hour and a half on a rack in the oven at 275 degrees F., then a brief kiss from the broiler does the trick. If you don’t have the time, you can go with a standard 375 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes and it will still be good. But for a great Jalapeno Popper? It’s worth the extra hour. (If you’re smoking anything, try tossing these in, too. Maybe with some apple wood.)
Look for your jalapenos at Aldi where packages of about a dozen are always inexpensive. This recipe uses eight (16 halves) so be sure to have another use for the rest (if nothing else, roast, peel, de-seed and toss in the freezer for salsa, later.) And the bonus, here: cheap, thin bacon (16 slices to a pound) is really your friend when wrapping (and eating 🙂 )
A block of cream cheese and about 1/2 of a cup crab, or any other “add in” is a pretty standard proportion to fill the 16 jalapeno halves just a bit above the top, but this always varies. The nice part of this is, because you don’t need a lot of the crab, it’s doable even on a budget. Even fresh crab, at this small amount, is still budget friendly. Shrimp would be great in these, too.
Crab Stuffed Bacon Jalapeno Poppers
- 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 6 ounce can crab meat, drained, and picked over for any errant shell
- 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons Old Bay or my home-made Old Bay Seasoning Substitute
- 1 pound thinly sliced bacon (16 slices)
- 8 Jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise, seeds & ribs removed
Mix together cream cheese and crab meat. Add Old Bay to taste. Refrigerate while you prepare the jalapenos.
Cut Jalapenos in half (if you lay the jalapeno down then turn it by 1/4, so the down side is now vertical, and then make your slice from the top to the bottom, you’ll always have a jalapeno that will lay nicely, cut side up.)
Remove ribs and stems – a spoon works nicely. Fill with the mixture so it mounds just slightly above the top. Wrap with the bacon, overlapping each wrap by a little. Place all on a rack over a foil lined sheet pan.
Bake at 275 F. degrees (no need to preheat) for an hour to an hour and a half on a rack about 8 inches from the broiler. When the bacon has rendered and picked up a little color and the jalapenos are tender, turn the broiler on high for a few minutes to give the bacon and the cheese a little extra color.
If grilling, use indirect heat and cook with the lid on, if smoking, aim for a temperature of about 275 to 300 degrees F.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 28 g||43 %|
|Saturated Fat 14 g||69 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 95 mg||32 %|
|Sodium 1393 mg||58 %|
|Potassium 35 mg||1 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 6 g||2 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0 g||2 %|
|Sugars 3 g|
|Protein 22 g||44 %|
|Vitamin A||7 %|
|Vitamin C||28 %|
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