prosciutto-wrapped, neufchatel-stuffed jalapenos

I think it’s about time to pack up my garden for the year. The last month has felt like borrowed time. Homegrown tomatoes on Halloween? Well, yes; in fact, the last few months have been the most successful in my garden because the grasshoppers who I’d been sharing my tomatoes with all summer have flown the coop. But our night lows are starting to drop to near freezing, so I’ll be lucky to get some nice red tomatoes for my burgers tonight.

It’s no problem to use up tomatoes. If I found myself with more than I’d expected, I just made some sauce and froze it. But what easy solution is there for at least ten jalapenos per week? Jalapenos are rarely a primary flavor, and even a good batch of pico de gallo only uses a couple.

Bacon-wrapped cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos certainly use up the jalapeno bounty, but I can’t be eating a plate of cream cheese and bacon every week, even if there are vegetables hidden under all that fattening flavor. But is the fat necessary?

It turns out it isn’t. Well, some of it is, but by replacing the bacon with prosciutto and the cream cheese with (American, not French) Neufchâtel, these snacks lose a lot of fat but very little of the flavor. In fact, I preferred the prosciutto to the bacon; it’s easier to work with and bakes up crisper. I’m already looking forward to next year’s gardening season – and not just for the tomatoes this time!

One year ago: Pork Chops Loco Moco, Pumpkin Mushroom Soup, Cranberry Orange Scones, Buttermilk Scones, Pumpkin Scones
Two years ago: Chickpea and Butternut Squash Salad, Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake, Gratin Dauphinois

Prosciutto-Wrapped, Neufchâtel-Stuffed Jalapenos

Makes 24 appetizers

If you keep gloves in the kitchen, use them when handling jalapenos.

12 jalapenos
4 ounces Neufchâtel
6 ounces prosciutto, sliced lengthwise into 24 strips

1. Adjust a rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place an oven-safe baking rack on a baking sheet.

2. Cut the stems off the jalapenos; slice them in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Divide the cheese evenly between the jalapenos, then wrap strips of prosciutto around the jalapenos. Arrange the stuffed jalapenos on the prepared baking pan on the rack.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is browned in places and the prosciutto is crisp. Cool slightly before serving.

Comments

  1. stef says:

    I tend to soak my jalapenos in milk for about 6 or so hours to get some of the hot out. I love the flavor of them, but I’m not always in the mood for the heat. Milk also helps to soak capsicum covered fingers as well. :)

  2. bridget says:

    stef – I think that’s one thing that makes this combination so good – the cheese helps tame the heat of the chiles. However, my jalapenos weren’t very hot, which I was a little disappointed by.

  3. treewhisperer says:

    these look YUMMY! do you think they will ship well?

  4. Wei-Wei says:

    I think that this would be amazing – most of the heat is taken out with the seeds, but the flavour of the jalapeño would remain. I actually don’t know what the flavour would be like without the heat.

  5. Interesting that the prosciutto crisps up more than the bacon. Sounds great!!

  6. Those sound delicious! The hot jalapenos with creamy cheese mmmm yum!

  7. mike says:

    Hm, these look good. Would you suggest an alternative for the meat? (we’re vegetarians).

  8. bridget says:

    mike – The best alternative I can think of is pressing a salted almond into the cheese. It’ll have some of that saltiness and provide some textural contrast. It won’t be the same, but it’ll still be good!

  9. This sounds like a great alternative to the norm! I bet they would be good grilled, too.

  10. mike says:

    Thanks Bridget! Someone I work with just gave me about two dozen of these badboys fresh from another friend’s garden. I’m hoping they stay fresh for Thanksgiving (maybe freeze them?) so I can try this dish out.

  11. I usually make mine with the neufchatel cheese, but never thought of trying it with proscuitto! Perhaps I’ll give it a try next time. Although… I think the fact that I had to buy bacon, and the possibility of leftover bacon is part of what excited my boyfriend about these! Haha… I usually only buy turkey bacon!

  12. bridget says:

    Erin – Turkey bacon might work well too, because it’s thinner and less fatty. One problem I had with using regular bacon was that it was too chewy after being baked.

  13. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this idea! I am definitely making these. I had a bounty of leftover jalepenos from one plant I grew and kept them in the freezer. In fact – I just picked the last 10 off of it. I figured it will surely die with the freeze coming. This will be a great way to use them.

  14. Those sound great! Bet they are perfect for parties!

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