Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers with Sweet Sriracha Sauce (THM S)
Let it be known that I am a bacon fiend. I eat bacon morning, noon, and night. When I discovered the glory of homemade jalapeño poppers using bacon - shut the front door!
I've seen many bloggers make these poppers before - this isn't new. However, I almost never see a sauce with them. Ranch, I know, is probably a favored staple. While I have a very special place in my heart for ranch, I much prefer a sauce with some heat.
If you haven't been introduced to the glory that is Sriracha, you need to get on it. It packs the heat of chiles minus the vinegar-y flavor you get with hot sauce. Even my kids love Sriracha! [Side note: My older toddler, who loves all things spicy (totally my kid) was all over these poppers. Even my younger one was digging them - more like, he was taking the bacon off the jalapeño and dipping it in the sauce, but I still count that as a win.]
The crowning glory of this appetizer is that it's insanely easy to make. The poppers take just 3 ingredients, and the sauce is 3 ingredients. How easy is that?
For the poppers, you'll need a baking sheet with a rack or a broiler pan and some toothpicks. It's best to use a rack when cooking bacon in the oven, because it will crisp faster and all the grease drops into the bottom pan (i.e. no soggy poppers). Also, the toothpicks help keep the bacon firmly wrapped around the pepper.
First, you'll have to clean 6-10 fresh jalapeños. Believe it or not, I have a fantastic trick for cleaning these in a flash without getting the pepper heat all over your hands/nails/everywhere.
It involves this little gadget: a grapefruit spoon.
A grapefruit spoon for jalapeños? But how?!
Cut the top off of pepper, and slice it in half lengthwise. Hold the pepper by the small end. Place the serrated tip of the spoon against the inside of the pepper, grip firmly, and drag it down the pepper until the ribs and seeds are removed.
BOOM. And no hot pepper juice under your nails to burn your face off later.
Next, prepare the softened cream cheese with some salt and pepper. Spoon it straight into the pepper, wrap in bacon, and secure with toothpicks.
Place the poppers into a baking sheet with a rack, or broiler pan fitted with a rack, and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes.
You'll notice the sauce is a bit of a hodgepodge. The reason for this is because I was down to the last bits of my jelly and sriracha. However, there's a bonus to that because I shook the sauce right inside the jelly jar in order to get as much of that flavor as I could. Saves me a bowl and whisk to wash!
Can it really be that easy? Yes. It can.