Sometimes when you have only a few ounces of barbecue in the fridge you have to either make a skimpy sandwich or just grab a fork and enjoy the two or three bites. Either way, it seems like a waste. I hate skimpy pulled pork sandwiches and a few bites would just leave me wanting more barbecue. Thank goodness for my love of leftovers and philosophy of using what you have and not stressing out over things.
The other good news is that I was grilling stuffed jalapeno peppers. If you have read any of my articles, you can guess what happens next. Yep, I chopped up those few fork servings of hickory smoked pork and tossed them in the following recipe.
My recipe for stuffed jalapenos is pretty standard except for the following. If I add real bacon bits or pulled pork, I use barbecue sauce. If I use crab meat I add a dash or two of Old Bay seasoning, if I use something like beef BBQ or ground beef I lean towards steak sauce. You’ll see in the recipe.
The other tip – more people comment on the seasoned breadcrumbs than I can count. People love that touch. Here is the basic idea!
Pulled Pork Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
It goes without saying. Use protective gloves when working with hot peppers! Remember, this is a base recipe, I also add things from time to time including minced onion, parsley, garlic and such. I suggest making a base recipe, slapping some on a cracker and testing it. If you feel it needs something else, add it.
12 nice sized jalapeno peppers, halved and cleaned
Milk / Water
1 package cream cheese – eight ounce
1 cup shredded taco blend cheese (more if desired)
1/2 cup fine chopped pork barbecue
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons steak sauce or bbq sauce
Seasoned crushed croutons
Light dash of Cajun or Creole seasoning
Directions: In a bowl, combine the ingredients except the peppers and the crushed croutons or breadcrumbs. Test, adjust as needed, cover and start slicing peppers while wearing gloves. Don’t worry about the next step if you would like a crunchier pepper. If you desire a softer texture then do a quick boil.
Bring a large enough sauce pan filled with water and some milk to a rolling boil. Drop the peppers in and boil for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain off the water. I rinse with cold in a colander. Next, stuff the pepper halves with mix, place on the grill and cook until the cheese begins to bubble and brown.
I generally place them on a sheet of foil with a bit of non-stick spray on the top rack. About halfway through the grilling process I sprinkle the peppers with the crumbs. When done, remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes then serve.
Kent Whitaker is a culinary writer and cookbook author living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the winner of the Emeril Live BBQ contest and winner of an American Authors Association Gold medal. Mr. Whitaker’s books are in bookstores nationwide and are available online. Visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com or twitter.com/theKentWhitaker