Manchego and Bacon Stuffed Jalapenos

If you’ve been following my posts this week, you might notice that I still haven’t made the gluten free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that I keep talking about. Instead, I have been distracted by some of the fresh produce I just bought and I’m excited to try new things.  So, alas, the above picture is still not a cookie. However, it is a fantastic treat of a different kind.  

I found these wonderful jalapeno peppers this weekend, and since I’ve actually never tried to purposely eat one until last year…I thought I’d experiment a bit at home.  (See previous post on Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, Texas, and their jalapeno, bacon, onion and turkey “brush poppers”!)  

This recipe is very easy to make and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  If I hadn’t been too lazy to turn on the grill, I would have done these outside and I’m sure they would have been even better. The prep is the same either way.

There are a lot of stuffed jalapeno recipes out there that use cream cheese. And why not? Cream cheese is good on just about anything!  Plus, apparently the milk is the best thing to counteract the spicy knock-you-on-the-floor heat of some of the hotter jalapeno peppers. So, maybe the creamy cheese helps, too. 

One of my friends asked why I didn’t just do something different and use an actual Mexican-style cheese…since this recipe is probably of Mexican descent.  Hussein, just for you, I bought some Manchego cheese at Whole Foods. I couldn’t find the chihuahua (not the DOG…the semi-soft cheese) or menonita.  

Queso Manchego is a semi-firm Mexican cheese that melts really well and has a smooth, creamy, buttery flavor and texture. In fact, it was so good, we ate it ALL. Not just in the jalapenos. We were just cutting pieces off and I even melted it on some toast. Then I made some toast (with Udi’s gluten free bread), basted on some truffle oil and put the Manchego cheese on top to melt it. Oh. My. God.

But, I digress….

  • 3-4 medium sized jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped fine
  • 8 pieces of bacon, cooked nice and crispy and then crumbled
  • 8 oz of Manchego cheese (you can use cream cheese instead)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs (I used Ener-G gluten free)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pam Original cooking spray (or other gluten free spray)

Okay, I’m a big chicken and have been warned more than once about not touching the peppers while taking the seeds out since the oil can get stuck on your hands like a glue and then you might touch your eyes or your skin and it will BURN. So, I went and bought a pair of rubber gloves (didn’t know what else to get) and I carefully seeded it. I should have worn eye protection since the juice splattered anyway as I scraped off the white part. That white part and the seeds, folks, are the HOT BURNING part. 

  1. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise (feel free to copy the chicken approach above) and remove the seeds and white membrane.  If you like life extra spicy, keep them around and throw them in with the cheese.
  2. Cut the cheese into smaller pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Add the bacon, onions, cumin, salt and pepper.
  4. Melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  5. Using a spoon, stuff each pepper with the cheese mixture. Pack it in firm.
  6. Top with bread crumbs.
  7. Sprinkle with paprika.
  8. Spray with Pam.
  9. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until slightly bubbly and the jalapeno skin begins to get soft. These would be even better on the grill!
  10. Let them cool for 2-3 minutes before you eat them.
  11. Have something nice and cold to drink!

Melted Manchego with onions, bacon and spices
Stuffed jalapenos on their way to the oven

Biggest take-away from this besides how NOT to burn yourself prepping jalapenos?  Manchego cheese is delicious and I will be buying it more often.
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