Be careful with these… They are very powerful and highly addictive little bullets of pure pleasure. The prep is a bit time-consuming, so I recommend enlisting the help of an extra pair of hands and pulling up a chair for the pepper-cleaning and stuffing process. The good news is, you can prepare, stuff, and wrap the peppers a whole day in advance, and just pop them in the oven right before serving, which makes them an ideal party appetizer. Just be warned, all rules of gallantry and bon ton seem to fly out the window when a plate of these hits the coffee table, I’ve seen fights break out over the last pepper on the plate.
Hot Pepper Poppers
- 20 fresh, hot peppers (jalapeños are perfect, but if you live in Italy use any kind you can find)
- 1 lb (450g) cream cheese
- 2 tbsp diced chives
- 20 strips of bacon (about 1 lb)
For about 10 people
I highly suggest wearing latex gloves when handling the peppers!
Preheat oven to 375°F/ 190 °C.
Slice each hot pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pith with a small spoon. Cut the bacon in half cross-wise in order to obtain 40 pieces. Mix the cream cheese with the diced chives then fill each hot pepper half with a spoonful of this mixture. Wrap the cheese-stuffed pepper with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Place the bacon-wrapped peppers, cheese-side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until the bacon is cooked through, about 20 minutes. If the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, turn on the broiler for a few minutes to crisp it up and finish it off. Serve hot.