Shrimp and Cheese-Stuffed
12 big Jalapenos suitable for some serious stuffin'; they should be fairly straight, round and plump with plenty of room inside.
12 strips of bacon (we use uncured bacon, no need for nitrates and nitrites!)
Cheddar and Queso Fresco cheeses
Rib Rack, or more toothpicks
(Shrimp pieces, or shrimp cut in half lengthwise, crab meat, turkey bacon, and of course other cheeses can be substituted. Like just about any simple recipe this is just a base, use your 'magination!)
Prep the Peppers
(Might want to wear gloves for this part, or be very careful what you do with your hands afterwards ;) ):
Cut the tops off of the jalapenos just below the stem, where the jalapeno starts to open up, and toss out the tops. With a butter knife or dull paring knife, cut the membranes down the length of the japapeno, and remove the membranes and all the seeds from the jalapenos being careful not to cut through or split the pepper. Take a butter knife or the back of a spoon and 'wallow it out' to remove any stubborn membrane and seeds and make more room inside.
Peel & devien the shrimp and cut cheese into strips that can fit into the jalapeno alongside the shrimp. Insert the shrimp and cheese together into the jalapeno as far into the bottom as you can. Add as many cheese strips into the jalapeno around the shrimp as you can WITHOUT BREAKING the jalapeno! If you stuff them in too hard you will split the pepper and the cheese will drain out during cooking.
(stuffing the pepper with shrimp with cheese strips on either side)
Wrap 'em up & stand 'em up
Wrap bacon strips over and around the top of the jalapeno to close it off and contain the cheese and shrimp. If you have big enough strips you can
practically wrap up the entire pepper. Use a toothpick or two to hold the bacon in place well.
Stand the stuffed jalapeno bombers up in a rib rack, use extra toothpicks if neccessary to straddle the rack and keep them as upright as possible.
Becuase the bottoms of the peppers will generally cook much faster than the tops, wrap the bottom of the rib rack with foil and poke a couple holes to drain, this makes the jalapeno bombers cook much more evenly.
Alternatively if you don't have a rib rack to stand them up in you can stick them together 4 at a time in a square with toothpicks, and stand them up. Make a foil cup or small tray with 3/4" or larger sides to stand them in. You may need more foil later to help stand them up as they cook, soften and slump.
(They weren't quite done in this picture but I forgot to take a pic of them standing in the rack before I started cooking)
Cook on the pit using low to medium-low heat (225-250f) for two or more hours until the peppers are slack and soft, the bacon is browned and the fat rendered out.
Cooking them "low & slow" also tends to cook some of the heat out of the pepper, making them more mild.