Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jalapeno Cranberry Poppers with Bacon

Note the pie in the background:  Apple blueberry pie.  Look for it in the next post!

My little kids all went home yesterday before five, but I had two meals worth of dishes to get cleaned up before supper.  I just had one of those days when you know if you head to the kitchen to wash dishes while the kids are playing there is going to be trouble!  It is an understatement to say that the natives were restless yesterday.  They had been on holiday the week before, so it takes a few days to get back in the groove again of getting along with others, and following Tina's rules.
I was surprisingly in good shape at the end of the workday, though, and had a good visit with my husband as I cleaned up the mess, and put the chicken in the marinade for the grill.  He decided to go ride his colt at the farm lease, so I had a pocket of time before I had to have the meal on the table.
It is just a pleasure at times to cook a meal without being hurried along.  The temperature had cooled considerably, and I started pulling out vegetables and fruits to make a plan.  I had chicken thighs ready, and put them in a zip lock bag with 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, and a packet of Weber's Just Add Juice marinade (which is delicious by the way).  I had white potatoes to use up, and planned to make mashed potatoes to go along with the grilled chicken.  Past that, I really didn't have a plan, and because it is coming up on my shopping day, I really need to use some things up.
I found a good bunch of jalapenos that needed used up.  They were left over from making pickled vegetables.  We like poppers, but make baked ones instead of frying them.  In this recipe, the health benefits of doing that are negated by the addition of a big ole piece of bacon on top, but they are a special treat.  The play of the sweet and tangy cheese and cranberries against the hot pepper and the salty bacon is heavenly.

Jalapeno Cranberry Poppers with Bacon

10-12 jalapenos halved longways, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 C ricotta cheese
1/2 C cream cheese
1 C chopped dried cranberries
Bacon cut into jalapeno sized lengths
Fresh ground pepper

In a medium sized bowl, combine the cheeses and chopped cranberries.  Fill jalapeno halves level, and place them on a cooling rack placed in a baking sheet.  Top with a piece of bacon, and season with fresh ground black pepper.  Bake at 450*F until bacon is crispy and peppers are soft, about twenty minutes at my altitude.  Serve either warm or at room temperature.

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