Beef and Cheese Jalapeno Pepper Poppers, jalapeno pepper poppers, jalapeno pepper poppers., I just love to say jalapeno pepper poppers! If it’s so fun to say, how much more fun will it be to eat? These poppers look like they belong on the Island of Misfit Soldiers ( Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer fans get this). They’re all lined up in neat rows, but some are hunched over or slouched, their stuffing is showing, and their hats are askew. It’s like the trumpet called while they were deep in Dreamland and they hurriedly, but sleepily donned their garments, some even came out in their jammies (I love jammies). They are all sweating as they are being grilled by Sarge ( Get it? ‘Cause we’re cooking these on the grill.)
Thank-you for indulging me in my silliness, on to the serious stuff; Jalapeno pepper poppers, jalapeno pepper poppers…
I bought this Jalapeno Pepper roasting stand for my father in-law, the June Bug, who LOVES spicy food. He allowed me to christen it.
When I got to the market to get the peppers there were only 6 jalapenos left. I saw a bag of mini bell peppers and grabbed those as well; which actually turned out great because the jalapenos were really hot, so the bell peppers were a tasty relief to the heat. You want the jalapenos to be large, the bell peppers to be small and all the peppers to be straight. Have a look at the size of holes in the roaster before you buy the peppers. *Even if you are not using a roasting stand apply these guide lines.
Here are the ingredients
Since it was the June Bug’s roaster I asked him if he would like beef or sausage, he chose beef, but either can be used. Brown the beef in a non-stick pan with a drop of oil, the garlic, whites from the scallions, salt and pepper. Put the beef to the side to cool while preparing the peppers.
Use the smallest paring knife to cut the top 1/4 inch off of the peppers. *If you’re not using a roaster then skip this step, and the next 2 steps.
Use the point of the knife to cut and scoop the seeds and veins out of the pepper. Be careful not to break the peppers.
Gently bang the pepper, upside down on the cutting board to remove the seeds.
*If you don’t have a roaster just cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and cut out the seeds and veins, leave the pepper half intact.
Now mix the cream cheese, Mexican blend cheese, browned ground beef, salsa, green part of the scallions, and cilantro in a small bowl.
Spoon the mixture into a sandwich bag and cut a small bit off the bottom corner of the bag.
Use the sandwich bag as a piping bag and squeeze the mixture into the peppers to fill them.
Place their cute little hats back on, and stand the filled peppers in the roaster.
*If using the halved peppers then fill the pepper halves and put on a platter to hold and transport the peppers.
I prepped my peppers to this point and put them in the refrigerator until we were ready to grill. Because the poppers were cold I had to add 5-7 minutes to the cooking time.
The peppers in the roasting stand I cooked over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, but I was missing a little char on the peppers, so I would put them over direct heat for a few minutes.
* The halved peppers can be grilled over medium low direct heat. They can go over direct heat because they will cook nice and even and need less cooking time.
Here are my Misfit Soldiers, oh so endearing. We had our these for dinner with macaroni salad, pickled cukes, and tomatoes. Poppers are also perfect as an appetizer.
Makes 18 poppers
1 tsp Cooking oil
1/3 lb Extra lean ground beef, or chorizo sausage
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 Scallions or green onions, finely sliced, separate the white and green parts.
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp Salsa
2 oz Cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¾ cup Mexican blend grated cheese
1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
18 Large jalapenos, or mini bell peppers
1. Add the cooking oil to a medium sized skillet and brown the beef ( or chorizo ), garlic, white part of the scallions, salt and pepper to taste over medium heat. Set to the side to cool.
2. Mean while, if you have the Jalapeno pepper roasting stand, cut about 1/4 of an inch off of the top of each pepper. Use the tip of a small paring knife to remove the seeds and as much of the vein as possible from the peppers, be careful not to break the peppers.
* If you don’t have a stand than do not remove the tops; instead, cut each pepper in half length wise, and remove the seed and veins.
3. In a small bowl combine the browned meat, salsa, cream cheese, Mexican blend cheese, green part of the scallion and the cilantro; mix well.
4. Spoon the mixture into a Zip Lock bag and cut a small triangle off of the bottom corner of the bag. Use the Zip Lock bag as a piping bag, place the cut tip into the opening of a pepper, squeeze the mixture into the pepper. Repeat with the remaining peppers. If using the Jalapeno pepper roasting stand, then place the peppers carefully into the stand and replace the tops on the peppers, so that they look like little hats. *If you have cut the peppers in half, then fill each half with the filling.
**The first 4 steps can be prepared in advance and held in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill.
5. Put the peppers in the Jalapeno Popper stand on the grill over indirect heat for about 20-25 minutes. If you like a little color on the peppers, then place them over direct heat ( medium low heat ) for about 5 minutes, until the peppers are soft, but not charred.
*If not using the stand, then put the poppers on the grill at medium low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the pepper is soft, but not charred.