Afternoon backyard gatherings are something I truly enjoy. Hanging out with my people, enjoying some laughter, a cold drink or two, and sharing good eats outside. I also love to have something cooking on the grill with guests around. The wafting smell of delicious things to come always adds an element of excitement. It’s funny how like in the house where everyone ends up in the kitchen, in the backyard it’s around the grill. Like moths to a flame, friends always seem to gravitate towards the rising smoke. It is fun to witness how the nearer to done the food is, the closer to the grill people seem to collect. Maybe it’s the caveman in us that hears the smoke whisper “come and get it”, and renews our passion for foods cooked over the fire.
To prepare Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers on the grill:
- 1 dozen fresh large jalapeno peppers
- 8 oz cream cheese or Neuchâtel, softened
- 8 oz imitation or lump crab
- 12 strips of bacon
Cooks Note: Wear gloves when you work with jalapeno! Unless you have some crazy thing for pain, I strong advise you to do so!
Mix the softened cream cheese with the crab meat and set aside. Wash and dry the peppers leaving stems in tact. Halve the peppers length wise beginning next to the stem and cutting to the tip.
Core and seed the peppers using a spoon to hollow out the peppers. Keep the halves together so you can reassemble in the nest step..
Using a knife fill the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese crab mixture. Do not over fill. Remove any extra filling with the edge of the knife.
Stick the filled halves back together to make a “whole pepper”.
Starting at the end near the stem, loosely wrap a slice a bacon around the pepper and secure with a tooth pick. Do not wrap the bacon too tight or as the bacon cooks it will squeeze the filling out of the peppers. (I refer to this as the python syndrome).
Heat your grill on high. Place the poppers on a wire rack over a pan on one side of your grill. Add about one inch of water to the pan. Turn off the heat directly under the pan of poppers and close the lid. Cook the peppers for about 45 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on your grill. The peppers are ready when the bacon appears crisp. Resist the temptation to open the lid of the grill, only peeking in quickly after about 30 minutes to get an idea of your cooking time. Don’t lose your heat!
This is a great recipe to cook outside on the grill. I have prepared these in the house but they cause a big mess in the oven. Mesquite would be a nice way to kick these poppers up a notch. Place a smoker box in your grill for added flavor.