Here is another of Mike’s fabulous recipes. Like me, he is an easy breezy cook. Fast and on the fly, but really good food. Mike does these poppers on the grill, but you could do them in a skillet on the stove.
You will need:
About two medium or large size (about 3 – 3 ½ inches in length) jalapenos or banana peppers per person, or more if you are hungry!
Cream cheese, about 2 tablespoons per popper. Mike gets the chive and onion flavored tub of cream cheese.
One shrimp per popper. We use the precooked shrimp you get in the frozen food section of the store. You could also do imitation crab in the popper with the cream cheese. Or you could do some of both.
One slice of bacon per popper.
Wash the peppers, cut the stemmed top off (about 14 inch of pepper) and remove all white membranes and seeds. This is where the heat is, so be sure you get them all out if you want them mild.
Slice the pepper lengthwise, starting at the open top and going toward the tip of the pepper – do NOT cut through the tip. Leave about ½ inch still attached. Do this with all the peppers.
Put about a tablespoon of the cream cheese in one side of the pepper. Turn the pepper over and put another tablespoon of cream cheese in the other side.
Sandwich a shrimp in between the cream cheese sides, placing the shrimp lengthwise in the pepper.
Put the sides together. Take one slice of bacon and wrap around the pepper. Secure by putting a toothpick in the end of the bacon, through the pepper. You have yourself a Texas popper.
Continue filling all the peppers. On a gas grill heated to about 400 degrees (medium high), place the popper on the upper rack of the grill. If you do not have an upper rack, cook at about 300 degrees. You only need to cook the bacon, if you use the precooked shrimp. So you are heating the pepper, shrimp and cheese. You will cook the poppers for about a half hour. You want to blacken them without burning them. They must be turned every five minutes, making sure all sides are on the heat at some point.
These are delicious! Now I could try to be fancy and tell you these make great appetizers or starters for you dinner. But honestly, we have been known to make a meal on these babies. Mike also has served this as a vegetable along with a steak and potato. Anyway you choose to serve them, they are great!
Warning: When working with jalapenos, be careful about touching your eyes or face with your hands. These will burn the fire out of you, and it will not be pretty. So do all the seed and membrane removal at once and then scrub your hands down. Mike advises that you do not rinse the open pepper with hot water because you will get the heat of the pepper in the air. Not good.