It's a party time of the year, and that means party food. Here's a party appetizer that can be a little time consuming to create, but is really simple and effective. Who doesn't love bacon, sausage and jalapenos?
18 large jalapeno peppers
1 block cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 pound quality loose sausage
9-12 slices of thick-cut bacon, halved
Note: in this particular case, I used green onion sausage, which pairs really well with the flavor of the jalapenos. I recommend using that, Cajun or any other hot sausage you can find. Use Italian if that's all you can find, but be mindful of how the flavors will marry. If you have to just use links and squeeze the filling out of the casing, that's perfectly good.
1. Preheat your oven to 275.
2. Halve your jalapenos lengthwise, removing the tops, the seeds and what you can of the ribs. Everybody talks about the seeds in peppers like these, but the ribs still hold a lot of the capsaicin oil, which is what makes a pepper hot, and also what sticks to your hands and gets under your finger nails if you do this without gloves or running them under water.
3. In a large bowl, combine the sausage, cream cheese and cheddar and mix well with a spatula, until it's all well-incorporated and combined.
4. Spoon enough of the sausage stuffing to fill each jalapeno, pressing it well in to the grooves of the pepper so that it stays in place.
5. Wrap each pepper half in bacon as best you can and secure with a toothpick. A half a slice will do the job if that's what you have, and 9-to-12 slices should do the job here, but if you want to use a slice for each one, I don't think anybody would complain. Would you?
6. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for at least an hour. If you want to use a broiling can to catch some of the rendered fat, that's not a bad idea, just make sure they won't stick to the grooves, maybe with some cooking spray. After the hour, you may also want to run them under a broiler for a couple of minutes, just to make sure you get the bacon good and crispy. Do whatcha wanna. Obviously, this will yield 36 stuffed peppers (mafs yo!).
Apologies for no pictures of the finished product, but y'all can use your imaginations.