The fall is just about upon us and when I think fall, I think football season. When I think football season, my mind always tends to float toward visions of a hot grill loaded down with sizzling little bacon-wrapped gems, also known as jalapeño poppers. I love them. I love them so, so very much. Even though the bacon tends to be slightly charred on the outside and is likely to be a teensy-bit underdone on the inside.
I love them despite the fact that one little devil always has a plethora of hidden seeds somewhere under that melty and delicious cheesy filling. In fact, I love them so much, I came up with a recipe that tastes identical to those fiery little guys hot off the grill and converted it into a dip. You can enjoy this recipe alongside roasted Baby Dutch or Fingerling potatoes, roasted shrimp, toast points or corn chips…or just grab yourself a spoon and go to town. I certainly wouldn’t blame you.
- 6 Slices of Thick-Cut Bacon diced
- 12 Jalapeños seeded and diced
- Red Onion diced
- 16 oz Cream Cheese room temperature*
- 1 1/2 c Freshly Grated Cheddar separated
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- 5 oz Oaxaca Cheese thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375° Have ready a greased 8x8” casserole dish. Also, have ready a plate lined with paper towels. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to absorb excess grease. Add jalapeño and onion to skillet and sauté in the bacon grease for 12-15 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, 1 cup of grated Cheddar, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until smooth and evenly combined. Stir in cooled jalapenos and onions, as well as the bacon. Transfer to baking dish. Top with Oaxaca cheese and remaining Cheddar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
*It is important that your cream cheese is at room temperature so that ingredients may be evenly incorporated.If you need to bring cream cheese to room temperature in a pinch, fill a small mixing bowl with hot water. Place the cream cheese in a zip top bag and place in the bowl for 15-20 minutes. **If you are not familiar with Oaxaca cheese, do not be intimated. I think it best described to a novice user as the Mexican version of fresh Mozzarella. You can typically find it in the Mexican dairy section in most grocery stores, near the Queso Fresco and Crema. If you have trouble finding it, you can substitute freshly grated Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella cheese.
Would pair well with:
Ice Cold Beer