recipes: pepper poppers

Thought I’d start posting  some appetizer ideas for those who might be entertaining on New Year’s Eve.  Enjoy!

Well, I will be the first to admit it.  I fell for the large bag of small red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers.  No, they’re not organic, and they’re not local (but they were only shipped from 3 states away), but boy, I couldn’t resist the bargain and number of ideas I had for those babies.

The other night as my daughter begged for something “different” for dinner, I took out the peppers and wondered what I could do with them.  Something reminded me of those jalapeno poppers in chain restaurants so I dug through the fridge and here’s what I created:peppers on plate

Growing Grace Farm’s Goat Cheese and Bacon Pepper Poppers

Ingredients:

Small sweet peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed

Herbed goat cheese (preferably local and fresh)

Bacon cut into pieces that will cover tops of pepper openings; I precook the bacon (we used turkey bacon, but I can’t wait to get hold of some peppered applewood pork bacon)

tooth picks

Preparation:

1.  Preheat over to 400 degrees.

2.  Spoon herbed cheese into peppers until topped off.

3.  Cut a piece of bacon to cover opening.

4.  Stick a tooth pick through it long ways so that bacon stays together with pepper and keeps cheese from oozing out.

5.  Bake until desired texture–we like our peppers with a little crispness.

6.  Be careful to let cool a bit–the cheese can hold in some heat!

Variations:

Southern popper:  some pimento cheese and a slice of pork bacon on top

Pizza popper:  a dab of marinara, some mozzarella, and a pepperoni on top

Middle Eastern popper:  hummus with an olive on top

California popper:  an artisan cheese with a cube of avocado on top

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