Monday, October 17, 2011

Applejack Brandy Infused Stuffed Jalapenos

My favorite appetizer at any restaurant would have to be some cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers.  I absolutely love them, why, but of course for the cream cheese.  It is the most perfect compliment to the hot jalapeno if you ask me.  But now, after experimenting around in my liquor pantry, I can say that mine here at home are better than any that I have had in the restaurants.  I added some diced fresh peaches into the cream cheese filling that had been soaking in some apple-infused brandy.  And just let me tell you, there couldn't be a more fitting addition to them. It adds a warm bitter sweetness that goes hand-in-hand along with the BBQ sauce on top.  Matched up with the cool creaminess of the cream cheese and the bright tart tang from my garden's jalapenos.

1/2 of a ripe peach (peeled and diced)
1 T. of brandy (I used Laird's Applejack Brandy)
6 large ripe jalapenos (sliced lengthwise in 1/2 and hollowed out like boats-no seeds left behind!)
6 oz. of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia's 1/3 Less Fat-only because I felt like I was gonna be weight conscious the day that I was at the market-yeah right)
12 slices of regular bacon (I used Oscar Meyer)
BBQ sauce (I used Kraft Original this time)

-Arrange your 2 oven racks on the top 2 levels and preheat it for a HI broil. Using a small spoon, fill and level off each pepper halve with cream cheese.  Then dot the top of it with a couple peach bits and kind of press them into the cream cheese, wrap each jalapeno mummy style with 1 piece of bacon (to keep all the good stuff inside) and then pin the loose end of the bacon to the pepper with a wooden toothpick.  Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and onto the top rack in the oven on HI broil for 7 minutes.  Then remove the pan carefully (watch the hot grease!) and pour a small smear of BBQ sauce on top of each one.  Place them back into the oven, but now on the lower rack and broil still on HI for 5 more minutes (you want to do this to make sure you get those peppers fully cooked, but not to burn the bacon).  Serve with ranch dressing, extra BBQ sauce or just simply alone.  Enjoy!