Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Poppin' Poppers!

Jalapeño Burger Stuffed Peppers
Before I left for the weekend, my sweetie came home with an inspired dinner idea. "Have you ever had stuffed peppers?" Have I? Hell yes! My mom's basic burger and cheese stuffed bell peppers made a frequent appearance in the family's dinner rotation . . . and we loved them. I began to mull over my variation on this recipe when Matt suggested somehow incorporating all the spicy goodness of a jalapeño popper in this endeavor. I suggested taking it to the next (and obvious) level of adding bacon. Fast, easy, and full of heat, this is a great dinner with a kick.

- 5 red and green bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds, and stem removed
- 1 lb. ground hamburger
- 1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 1/2 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2 Tbsp. dried bread crumbs
- 3 green jalapeño peppers, stems, seeds, and pithy parts removed, finely diced
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 sliced thick-cut bacon, diced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium until it begins to turn brown, remove with a slotted spoon and allow bacon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate, reserve rendered bacon fat. Return skillet to heat and add diced jalapeño peppers, cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from fat with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel with bacon.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium in a medium sized skillet. Add diced onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they soften and turn translucent. Add ground beef to onions, sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Cook over heat with onions, breaking burger apart with a wooden spoon until brown and cooked through. Remove from heat and drain excess fat and liquid. Return to medium heat and add canned tomatoes. Stir to combine and heat for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese, cooked bacon, and diced jalapeño peppers. Stir until thoroughly mixed together. Set aside.

In a 13x9" baking pan arrange halved peppers cut side up. One at a time, fill peppers. Spread about 2 Tbsp. full of cream cheese mixture on the bottom of each pepper, top with a scoop of hamburger mixture, top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and shredded cheese. After all the peppers are filled bake in oven for about 25-30  minutes until mixture is hot through and peppers begin to soften. Eat up!

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