No matter which team you are rooting for during the Big Game, these grilled jalapeno poppers are sure to please any fan. Loaded with smoky cheese and garlic sausage and grilled over a live fire, nobody can resist these tasty appetizers.
It is important to remember that, as the seasons change, the spiciness of the peppers change, too. A long, dry growing season is sure to deliver some very spicy jalapenos. Be sure to try them first, so you can tell your super fan guests what to expect!
by Matt Jost
Makes: 10 jalapeno poppers
Prep Time: About 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Large flat skewer, metal or wood
10 large jalapeno peppers (red or green) At least 1 inch wide
2 Smoked polish sausages
1 Block smoked cheddar (do not buy aged cheddar, it is will get dry and chalky when heated up)
4 Strips of bacon (optional)
1. Slit the peppers from stem to the pointy end with a knife, but don’t cut through to the other side. Use the tip of the flat skewer to dig out the veins and seeds. Try not to break the pepper apart when digging out the insides.
2. Slice the sausage and cheese into 1/3 inch matchstick strips, about the same length as the peppers.
3. Stuff as many of the cheese and sausage sticks into each pepper as possible, without breaking the pepper apart.
4. Optional: The bacon can be cut into strips and wrapped around each popper. Make sure to space them apart from each other on the skewer so the bacon gets crispy on all sides of the pepper.
5. Once all the peppers have been stuffed, skewer them on the flat skewer with the open side facing up. Change the direction of the pepper stems to balance the skewer out for easier grilling.
6. Chill the skewers for at least 20 minutes before grilling for best results.
To Cook the Poppers:
1. Prepare the grill for medium, direct cooking (about 450F).
2. When the grill is ready, place the stuffed jalapenos on it and close the lid. If you want, add a few wood chips to the fire for extra flavor. Hickory or mesquite would fit the bill.
3. Cook the peppers for 10-12 minutes. They should be somewhat soft and the cheese slightly melted.
4. Once the peppers have been cooked, remove them from the grill onto a plate. Remove the skewer (be careful, the metal skewer will be hot).
Keep the coals hot!