Joe Rao says his Screaming Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers recipe won an Emeril Live contest!
Joe's Screaming Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
1 to 2 packages cream cheese, depending on the size of your pepper, room temperature
2 to 4 cloves chopped garlic or granulated, depending on your preference (c'mon, no spicy finger food is complete without this spice)
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes — a nice handful from the jar
Chopped fresh basil leaves
10 to 25 jalapeno peppers (larger then average size will make them easier to stuff)
1/2 to 1 pound thinly sliced bacon (Pork Fat Rulez!)
Toothpicks (for the peppers, not your teeth silly)
Preheat the grill.
Mix each package of cream cheese with chopped garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and a dash of chopped basil. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until mixture is soft and manageable.
Slice each jalapeno lengthwise on 1 side, being careful not to cut the jalapeno in 1/2. Remove the seeds if you don't think your friends can handle the heat, otherwise leave'em and enjoy watching your friends shed a few extra tears. hehe... Depending on your pepper, you may have to slice around the stem of the pepper to create a manageable opening to squeeze the filling in.
Fill either a pastry bag, or your choice of tools with the filling. Use something that will allow you to sqeeze the filling into the opening of the pepper with ease. I've used a plastic frosting tool, cookie press, and even just a small spoon to squeeze the filling in. However you choose, insert a liberal amount of filling into each jalapeno. Be careful not to overfill as the filling may spurt out during cooking.
Wrap each pepper with 1 to 2 strips of bacon, securing the opening in the pepper. Secure the bacon with a toothpick (best to soak the toothpicks first, to prevent burning on the BBQ). This also helps the jalapenos from falling into the BBQ (you're bound to loose at least 1, oh well). Long metal or wood skewers also work well for large amounts.
BBQ the peppers until they lightly roasted, or until the bacon is fully cooked. Use some foil to cook on if your peppers are cooking or burning too fast on a HOT BBQ.