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Bacon and Smoked Gouda stuffed JalOPEÑAsPrint Recipe
- 3 strips of smoked bacon or pancetta (diced)
- 6 to 8 Jalapeno peppers (depending on how many you're feeding)
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 1 package (8 oz?) Light Cream Cheese (room temperature - really important!!)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Smoked Gouda
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Chili or Cayenne Powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cups Panko crumbs (just enough to coat the top)
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Pan fry the bacon (or pancetta) in a dry frying pan. You won't need any oil since the bacon will give off quite a bit of fat. Feel free to add a bit of olive oil if you don't feel your bacon is getting enough fat to fry into a perfect crisp. Once fried (and super crispy), set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper towel.
Prepare your jalapeno peppers by cutting it in half length wise (try to be a symmetrical as possible). Hollow out the cavity of the pepper by removing the seeds and membrane with a small spoon. Try and keep the top stem for pretty presentation. Brush each pepper halves with a little bit of olive oil. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil
In a medium size bowl, soften the cream cheese by giving it a quick mix with your spatula. Add in the shredded smoked gouda, garlic powder, cayenne/chili powder, salt. Mix it really well.
Add the bacon bits into the cream cheese mixture and carefully mix it in. You want to distribute the bacon bits throughout the cream cheese mixture but not over mix it causing the bacon bits to break apart too much. You want to be able to kind of see the bacon bits once it's cooked.
THE FUN PART! Stuff each jalapeno pepper halves with the cream cheese mixture. You want to some what over fill it so that about 1/4 of an inch of the cream cheese mixture is visible.
After you've stuffed your jalapeno peppers, dip the tops of the peppers into a plate of panko bread crumbs. If this is too difficult, you can also grab a pinch of the bread crumbs and press it on to the cream cheese that's in the pepper (see image below). I recommend panko crumbs as it will give the peppers an extra crunch. You just want to coat the exposed cream cheese.
Pop the stuffed peppers into the hot oven and bake for about 18 to 20 mins or until the tops are golden brown.