Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. (www.comfortablefood.com)
November. Yes it’s the month of Thanksgiving, but more importantly, it marks week 9 of the NFL season. That’s right, crunch time. We’ve passed the half way mark of football season and every game counts. No more working on Sundays , no distractions, no breaking traditions. No sir. Not now. Your team needs you.
Whether you and your team are holding ground to keep that number one spot, or you’re clawing and scratching your way into the playoffs, the team is counting on you. You are their trustworthy and unwavering fan. You are game day team member number 46.
Jersey washed (or not), alarm set for 10am, and the best seat in the house reserved for Y-O-U. The question is, how much can you really do on an empty stomach? How pumped can you get? How loud can you cheer? How strong can you will your team to success without that tailgate feast? If you’re a real football fan, then you know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting right on the 50 yard line at the stadium, or if you’re planted in front of the big screen mounted on the wall of your man cave. Tailgating is an American tradition.
Brats, burgers, wings, and beer. All staples- all necessary. Every once in a while, on the day of a particularly important game, you go all out. You bring out the big guns, like bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, and loaded potato skins. And of course, the extra fuel is all but necessary. These are the games you live for. These are the games that will make or break the season. This is what Sundays are all about.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
1. 20-24 Jalapeno peppers (rinsed and pat dry)
2. 1 package cream cheese (room temperature)
3. ¾ cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
4. 1 tsp garlic powder
5. 1 stem green onion (chopped)
6. 1 package sliced bacon
7. 1 box toothpicks
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice each jalapeno in half the long way and place them on a baking sheet. Set aside. Fry 4 slices of bacon until crisp. Drain the excess grease on a paper towel or drain rack, and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, chop bacon into bite size pieces.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, ¼ cup Sharp Cheddar, garlic powder, chopped bacon, and green onion. Fold until all ingredients are well combined.
Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese mixture, then top with remaining cheese. Cut bacon slices in half, and snuggly wrap each jalapeno with bacon and secure by sticking a toothpick through both sides of the pepper.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked and crisp. Let cool, serve, and enjoy!
Loaded Potato Skins
1. 8 large Russet potatoes
2. 1/3 cup chives (chopped)
3. ½ red onion (finely chopped)
4. 10 slices bacon
5. 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
6. 4 tbsp butter (melted)
7. ½ cup sour cream
8. 1 small package ranch seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry potatoes well. With a tough fork, prick potatoes all over, place on a baking sheet, and bake until skin is crisp and meat is tender. Place your bacon on a lined baking sheet (ungreased) and bake until crispy. This will save you some time since there are so many slices. Remove the bacon from the oven, chop, and set aside.
When potatoes are done, let them cool. Now you can half them, and scoop out the meat, leaving about a quarter of an inch of meat on the skin. Brush both sides of each half with melted butter, and briefly return to the oven until the skin shrivels and leathers a bit. While they are baking, combine your sour cream with half of the ranch seasoning, and return to the refrigerator.
Once again, remove the potatoes from the oven. Top each potato half with a thick layer of cheese, and sprinkle the onion and bacon over them generously. The cheese should melt on contact, but if not, pop them back into the oven one last time for just a minute or two. Finally, add a dollop of sour cream to each skin, top with chives and any extra bacon you may have.
Serve and enjoy!