My friend, June Ireland, shared this easy recipe with me one day, and I have been experimenting with different fillings for almost a year now. All you need are a handful of FRESH Jalapenos, cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, butter, and bacon (optional). Does it get any simpler? :)
~Halve the Jalapenos and remove the seeds and veins (that is where all the super hot stuff lives) If you prefer some heat in your peppers, leave the veins in....just remove the seeds.
Place the halved jalapenos on a cookie sheet that is lined with non-stick foil if you don't have a non-stick cookie sheet.
~Fry some bacon and set aside on paper towel to drain off grease. Crumble the bacon when it cools.
~Mix together an 8oz brick of cream cheese. (You can use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese in this recipe and no one will know the difference.)
~Add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar or any other cheese that you like best.
~In another bowl mix 1/4 cup of bread crumbs with a tablespoon of melted butter.
Fill the halved jalapenos with the cream cheese mixture and top with the crumbled bacon bits and bread crumbs.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly...best if served warm, but are just as tasty cold.
My favorite filling is the above mixture, but I add shredded crab meat from real Snow Crab legs. I haven't tried it with canned crab meat, so I can't comment on that flavor. It's hard to go wrong with the fresh crab though. They are FANTASTIC with the mild jalapeno flavor from the peppers. Give it a try, I'm sure these will become one of your favorite appetizers to make for guests too!