Jalapeño Poppers

Another party favourite, you can never go wrong with a combination of bacon, chillies and cheese…

Very often you will find recipes for Jalapeno poppers using bacon, dusted with a BBQ rub.  This time we’ve decided to use Parma ham, and eliminated the rub, so not to overpower the delicate flavour of the meat.
If you’re not a big fan of the lime and cheese combination that we have opted for, then most types of cheeses will be suitable. A milder cream cheese will offer a good alternative, but also harder cheeses such as Cheddar are popular choices.

Recipe makes 8 Jalapeno Poppers.

Ingredients

8 Jalapeno peppers

150g soft blue cheese

Zest of one lime

8 slices of Parma ham

Method

Firstly slice the tops off the peppers. Now, using a sharp boning knife, carefully remove all the seeds and pith from the peppers. This will remove most of the heat, so if you prefer your chillies hotter then you can keep some of these in.  However, you’ll need to make room inside the jalapeños for the filling.

Once you have removed the seeds and pith, mix together the blue cheese and lime. Then stuff your peppers all the way to the top.

Now you can neatly wrap a slice of Parma ham neatly around each Jalapeno. Replace the lids back on top of the peppers.

Pierce some holes into a deep tin foil tray.  The holes need to be big enough to fit the width of a pepper, as you need to be able to place the jalapeños upright. Insert each popper into the holes in the tin tray, and refrigerate whilst you light your fire.

You can either smoke the peppers, or cook them on a grill over indirect heat (with the lid of the BBQ on). If you are smoking them, load up your smoker with hot coals and aim for a temperature of around 325°F/163°C. Add a chunk of wood, most types will be suitable, and once the smoke thins out a little (and turns a tint of blue), add the poppers onto the grill. If your cooking over indirect heat, add some wood chips to the hot coals to add a little smokiness.

Cook until the Parma ham browns, and the peppers soften.  This should take around 45 minutes or so.

Let them cool a little, before serving, as the melted cheese will be piping hot.

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