Quarantine Cooking: Jalapeño Poppers

Make your lunch pop with this new recipe

Put+a+little+spice+in+your+life+...+with+cheese+and+bacon+bits.

JACQUI THOMASSON

Put a little spice in your life ... with cheese and bacon bits.

JACQUI THOMASSON, Evergreen chief layout editor

We’ve all seen the memes about snacking on our two week’s worth of groceries during quarantine, but now it’s time to step up that snacking game.

One of my favorite appetizers is jalapeño poppers. I’m not talking about the breaded ones you can get frozen from Walmart — fully homemade, gloriously topped with bacon jalapeno poppers.

You can, of course, wrap these in bacon. But when the craving calls, I frankly don’t have the patience — especially because I keep a big bag of bacon bits from Costco on hand most of the time.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 jalapeños
  • 1 box of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese 
  • ½ cup of bacon bits

Time to prep.

From prep to cooking time, these should be done in about half an hour.

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The poppers will be ready to go in the oven about the same time the oven will be done preheating.
  2. Slice and deseed the jalapenos. Cut them long-ways, then scoop the seeds out with a spoon. A smaller, skinny metal spoon works the best for the deseeding — bigger spoons are more prone to accidentally splitting the jalapeño. I’ve found that using something with tall sides, such as a measuring cup, to catch the stray seeds works well too.
  3. Arrange the empty poppers on a tray lined with aluminum foil. Cleaning the melted cheese off the tray is just not worth the cost of the foil.
  4. Put a small spoonful of cream cheese in each popper. If the cream cheese was in an area of the fridge that’s especially cold, putting some water on your finger will keep it from sticking when you push it off the spoon.
  5. Smooth the cream cheese out. Some people like to use the spoon for this, but I feel like it’s easier to just hold the jalapeno like an old slide phone with the keyboard and just smooth it with your thumbs. 
  6. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the poppers. It’s okay if it goes off the edges a bit because the foil is there! 
  7. Place the bacon bits on top. You may have to press them on more than the cheese to make sure they don’t fall off right after sprinkling them on.
  8. Pop (pun intended) these suckers in the oven for about 20 minutes. When the bottom of the jalapeños starts to get a little lighter in color and bubble a bit, they’re done.
  9. Be careful getting them off the tray because they’re hot, and you’re done! The jalapeños with the stems still on them work great for dragging them off the tray.

Enjoy the *vegetables* of your labor!