Friday, November 23, 2012

Sausage Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

I LOVE jalapeno poppers.  The problem?  I don't have a lot of patience to make them.  There's something about washing the cut peppers and the capsaicin fumes that try to choke me out that just makes it not so much fun.  So I try to find other ways to make poppers.

And then, my gorgeous cousin made these poppers for me and I knew that there was no going back.


Seriously.  They're that amazing!

1 lb of ground sausage (any you prefer)
8 oz of cream cheese (softened)
2 C shredded four cheese blend, divided (I used the Mexican mix)
1 lb of jalapenos, halved and seeded
1 green onion, finely chopped

Now the prep work on this takes longer than I would normally like, but know that it is completely worth it and definitely worth the try.

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Brown sausage in a skillet.  Drain and cool (slightly)
3. Mix cream cheese, 1 C of cheese shreds, green onions, and sausage in a bowl.  The heat of the sausage helps to melt the cheesey goodness together.

*At this point, I paused.  I put everything in a zip lock bag and stored it over night.  I had already prepped the peppers and put them in their own bag as well.*
The best part about pausing a bit here, is that the cream cheese re-solidifies as it cools, which makes it easier to work with.  You can slice it and dice it which makes it easier to form in the peppers. You can work straight through at this point, I just had a lot to prep so this was a convenient place for me to stop. (and no, I didn't leave the oven on all night!)

4. Place your stuffing into your halved jalapeno pieces.

5. Place stuffed jalapenos on a lined cookie sheet (save yourself the clean up later).  Sprinkle with remaining 1 C of cheese shreds.

6. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

Serve immediately.  Seriously, you might need to double up on this recipe.  It's best to make more than you think you'd need.  People will graze on these as long as they exist so be prepared.

Even people who don't like 'spicy' food will be attracted to this because the cream cheese helps to balance out the little heat from the jalapenos.

** Extra tip: Wear gloves through the cutting, cleaning, and stuffing process, even if this seems overkill.  Save yourself the embarrassment later when you wipe your eyes or something else and cause ridiculous burning sensations. **

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