With their small size, stuffed jalapenos make a good appetizer or pot luck offering. The cream cheese in the recipe complements the fiery nature of the chili peppers, balancing the heat to make them go down a little easier for those with sensitive palates. Shop for jalapenos that have a relatively uniform size, and try to select the largest ones available, as these will be the easiest to prepare and fill.
Soften the cream cheese by removing it from the package and placing it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the cheese for 10 to 15 seconds. Leaving the package on the counter for 20 minutes at room temperature can also soften the cheese enough to mix it easily.
Mince the cilantro and place it into the bowl of cheese. Add minced red pepper, cooked bacon, cheese, cilantro and salt. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and set aside.
Put on the gloves and prepare the jalapenos by slicing them lengthwise down the middle and removing the seeds. The gloves are necessary for keeping the capsaicin off the fingers, the natural chemical found in the peppers and the element that gives peppers their heat. Do not touch your face when working with the chiles as the oils will create a burning sensation on the skin.
Coat the peppers with a light amount of vegetable oil and place them face down on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan. Slide the pan into a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and roast until the peppers soften, about 15 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven and allow the peppers to cool before working with them. Turn the peppers over and spoon the filling into the peppers. Place any leftover cheese mixture into the refrigerator and use within a week, either making more peppers or using them in Mexican or pasta dishes.
Serve the stuffed jalapenos as is or heat them in the microwave for about three minutes. For a more pleasing presentation, place the stuffed peppers back into the oven and cook for 15 or 20 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.
- Kate Van Vleck/Demand Media