I have an affinity for jalapeno poppers. Unfortunately, I rarely see them on bar menus anymore. I say "bar menus" as most places I like to eat a decent meal don't fit poppers between a charcuterie platter and stuffed dates as a starter.
If anything, a fried dinner needs a fried appetizer, which is sad, as poppers seem to have been replaced by quesadillas and spinach dips. Don't get me wrong, I love quesadillas and spinach dip as much as the next guy, but I love poppers. I've burned more than my fair share of skin off the roof of my mouth in pursuit of these little delicacies.
At a small get-together a few weeks ago, I posted some pics of poppers just taken off my Weber Summit Charcoal Grill. The response surprised me. Unbeknownst to me, my popper love was shared by many. Let's face it, smoked is better than fried and anything off the grill is better than anything off a plastic menu smeared with wing sauce. Poppers are open to a host of possibilities and for everyone who wanted to know my process, here it is. Enjoy...and watch the roof of your mouth!
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
- 6 jalapeno peppers
- 12 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 T BBQ rub
- 1 block parmesan cheese
- 6 slices bacon
Prep the jalapenos by slicing them in half lengthwise.
With a spoon, scoop out the ribs and seeds.
In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
Add the cream cheese mixture to the jalapeno halves.
Sprinkle the filled jalapenos with your favorite BBQ rub.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Slice the bacon strips in half lengthwise.
Wrap the bacon strip around the popper. As much as I love bacon, we only need a small sliver to go with the poppers. We are going for bacon enhancement, not a bacon tomb!
Ready the grill for indirect low heat (200-250 F). Once at temperature, add wood chunks. I use a combination of apple and cherry.
Place the poppers on the grill, lower the lid, and smoke for approximately 30 minutes.
Remove and serve.
Even with a little bit of prep time, these make the ultimate appetizer. It's the perfect mixture of heat, sweet, and swine. No wonder they are loved!