I really like a good jalapeno popper. So I tried making them with Queso Fresco cheese and bacon. Not a complete success but on the right track. First I took some jalapenos and cut off the top and removed the seeds. I did wear gloves because every time I work with hot peppers I either blow my nose with a tissue or scratch my eye and then I have a burning sensation. Not this time – I got smart.
Then I stuffed them with the cheese and placed them in the refrigerator while cooking the rest of dinner.
About 15 minutes before dinner, I took them out and wrapped them in bacon. I buy pieces and ends of bacon because it is cheaper. In this application, you should have strips of bacon and not pieces. I used a toothpick to secure the bacon which then makes it hard to brown all sides of the bacon. Next time probably will deep fry them. Now when frying I just used a little bacon grease in an iron skillet and fried the poppers.
Although very tasty, they were not completely successful but I learned several things. First char and remove the skin from the peppers. This will make them cook a little faster and won’t be so crunchy after frying. Once the skin is removed you could probably even coat them with a beer batter before frying and it would stay in tack. Will have to give this a try. Secondly, I think the type of cheese is pretty important. Queso Fresco does not seem to melt as quickly as say cheddar or mozzarella. Which means it won’t all ooze out when being cooked. Next, make sure your bacon is nice long pieces that wrap completely around each popper. This ensures that the whole popper is covered and will cook through more evenly. Last, is the way they are cooked. If deep fryed, you won’t have uneven cooking even with the toothpicks inserted to keep the bacon on.
If anyone has any other suggestions, I would love to hear them. This is a great appetizer and not too time consuming to make. Can even be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to fry. I’ll give you an update next time I make Jalapeno Poppers.