Kitchenclown has a weakness for all things stuffed, and these little devils just may top the list. They have all the elements for maximum devourability. Sweetness, from the cranberries… saltiness, from the bacon… crunch, from the nuts…and just the right amount of spicy heat, from the peppers. I was fortunate enough, to be introduced to these, by a delightful couple, Kathy and Martin, who served them at a fiesta, while visiting San Miguel de Allende. Bowled completely over by the perfect combination of flavors and textures, I’ve been serving them to delighted guests ever since. Mil gracias to the Koppers! Way up there with the Wow factor!
10 fresh jalapeno peppers
1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened in the microwave, in a small bowl
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
10 slices bacon, cut in half
Cut the stems off the jalapenos, Slice each in half lenghtwise, and remove the seeds and veins. ( Removing the seeds and veins eliminates the really fiery parts of the peppers, and ensures that they won’t be too incendiary! Using a serrated grapefruit spoon makes the task a snap.)
Add the chopped, dried cranberries, along with the chopped toasted nuts to the softened cream cheese, and mix well
Fill each jalapeno half with a teaspoon, or so of the cream cheese mixture, being careful not to overstuff.
Wrap each half with half a piece of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Turn the oven on broil, or you may use a toaster oven.
Place each wrapped jalapeno on a broiler pan, and put into the oven. Broil 10 minutes, on one side,or until the bacon is toasty brown, and cooked through. Turn each one over and repeat, keeping a close watch to prevent burning. Remove from oven, and drain them on paper towels, to remove any excess fat. Remove toothpicks and serve immediately.
Note: Whenever handling jalapenos, take extra precaution and wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Do not rub your eyes, mouth, or nose. Even after careful hand washing, the oils from these little monsters can permeate the skin, and it can take repeated hand washing to remove all remnants.