Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies Stuffed Jalapenos

A delicious party appetizer, these bacon wrapped, smoked sausage and cheese stuffed jalapenos are a true crowd pleaser.

A delicious party appetizer, these bacon wrapped, smoked sausage and cheese stuffed jalapenos are a true crowd pleaser.

Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies Stuffed Jalapenos

Bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos, like its deep fried cousin, are such a tasty little popper, that although this recipe is written for roughly 24 of these bite size jewels, you'll probably want to make up many more.  People do these all sorts of ways and cook them as many. I imagine that smoked they must be killer, but y'all know how I feel about that time commitment, so I usually just bake mine. 

These are all over the internet, and there's nothing really out of the ordinary here, but I made 'em so here they are! Q'ers love these, though they refer to them as some form of turds, most commonly atomic, buffalo (ABTs), wolf or dragon turds, a word that I'm not all that fond of in reference to food! For me, it's just a simple cream cheese and cheddar cheese blend that gets stuffed into cleaned jalapeno peppers with some cocktail sausages, and wrapped in bacon. I like to leave the stem on one of the halves just for presentation, but definitely use some kitchen gloves when handling any kind of hot pepper.

Some brave souls even use habanero peppers instead of jalapenos, bless their hearts! These are the ones often called Atomic Dragon Turds, though not always. I like a little heat, but I can't enjoy that kind of fire personally. Folks also like to cut out just a sliver off the top and make sort of a boat, instead of cutting the peppers in half. Others also stuff the two halves, stick in a sausage and put the halves back together before wrapping the bacon around it. You can literally do them however you prefer.

You can use regular smoked sausage, cut up and seared in a pan, or simply use the  Lit’l Smokies® Cocktail Links for convenience. You'll need about half a package or so. Some folks make these with mild or hot Italian sausage, or chorizo, sometimes cooked, sometimes raw, pork tenderloin, pulled pork or shredded brisket. 

I also like to slightly precook the bacon just a bit to give it a head start - I just throw pieces of bacon into piles on a paper plate, top with a paper towel and nuke it just a couple minutes in the microwave. Wrap each of the halves up with a slice of the bacon - though on some of the smaller peppers you can get away with a half slice of bacon.

You really do want to wrap the pepper well though, since the pepper softens as it cooks, while the bacon gets crisp, so if you have it, go for the whole piece. You don't really need to secure the bacon unless you're gonna grill these poppers and in that case, I would suggest threading them on a double skewer just for ease of getting them on and off of the grill. Once you get them wrapped, sprinkle with just a bit of Cajun seasoning, or really any great grill or rub seasoning that you favor. Put them on a rack on a foil covered baking sheet - keeping them elevated helps the bacon to crisp up better on the bottom.

Pop them in a preheated 450 degree oven, about 15 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked and run them under the broiler a few minutes if you want to crisp them up further. Allow to cool before transferring to a serving platter.

Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies Stuffed Jalapenos

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 12 servings

  • 12 to 24 slices of bacon
  • 12 average to large sized jalapenos
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • Pinch garlic powder, optional
  • 24 cocktail sausage links, like Lit’l Smokies®
  • Cajun seasoning like Slap Ya Mama {affil link}, rub or grill seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place an oven safe rack on top. Slightly precook or microwave the bacon covered, on a paper towel lined plate for about 3 minutes and set aside to let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, halve the jalapenos lengthwise and remove ribs and seeds. Combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and garlic powder. Fill each jalapeno half with some of the cheese mixture and set aside. Press one cocktail sausage into the cheese in each jalapeno half and wrap each jalapeno half completely with one slice of bacon. Secure with toothpicks if needed. Place the peppers on the rack, cut side up and sprinkle with seasoning, if desired.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and bacon is cooked. If desired you can run them under the broiler, with the door ajar, until bacon crisps up further. Let cool slightly and use tongs transfer to a serving platter.

Tip: Always use kitchen gloves when cleaning any hot pepper. Jalapenos can also be threaded on skewers and grilled, or cooked on an indoor grill. If the jalapenos are on the smaller side, you can often just use a half strip of bacon if you prefer. You may need to secure the half with a toothpick.

To Smoke: Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F. Smoke for about 2 to 3 hours, or until bacon is crispy and well browned.

Variation: Substitute regular andouille or smoked sausage - you'll need About 2 links. Cut the sausage in half lengthwise and brown in a skillet with the oil. Remove and drain on paper towels. Substitute flavored cream cheese.

Note: To crisp up the bacon further, after baking, put them under a preheated broiler, with the door ajar, and brown. Thick sliced peppered bacon is especially delish with these.


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©Deep South Dish
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