Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup finely diced cherry peppers, or other roasted red pepper
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 12 slices Hickory Smoked Bacon, cut in half lengthwise
- 12 large fresh jalapeños, halved, seeds and ribs removed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together cheddar cheese, cream cheese, peppers, mayonnaise, paprika, and lemon juice; using a spatula mix well until smooth and spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper; refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place bacon on a rack set over a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove par-cooked bacon from the oven and drain on paper towels.
- Stuff peppers with the chilled pimento cheese mixture, then wrap with a strip of bacon securing the ends with a toothpick. Place stuffed peppers the rack and bake until peppers have softened, cheese is golden brown, and bacon is crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Recipe tips: Choose jalapenos that are large and plump. A serrated grapefruit spoon makes quick work of removing seeds and ribs from the peppers. Depending on the size of peppers used, you may have leftover pimento cheese which is delicious on a burger or in a sandwich. Keep leftover cheese in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. These can also be made on a grill, just be mindful of flare-ups.