When I was a little girl I went to a wedding and had these little finger sandwiches with some sort of pineapple cream cheese filling. I don’t remember whose wedding it was, I don’t remember if my dress was pretty and I don’t remember who caught the bouquet. What I remember were those little sandwiches. This is where Husband would jump in with a sarcastic, “You??”
They had shredded green peppers and finely chopped bacon. Maybe minced onion? I dunno. But they were amazing and they left an impression. Obviously.
So I decided to combine those ingredients with your basic popper recipe and see how it turned out. And it turned out amazeballs! I love the sweetness from the pineapple with the heat from the peppers! It’s like the perfect storm in your mouth. You've got the creamy cheese, the sweet pineapple, the spicy peppers, the smoky bacon and the tangy barbeque sauce all in one perfectly wrapped little package.
Now, if you've never seeded this many jalapenos before, listen to me: do not use your bare hands for this task. I made this mistake once and I’ll never ever never do it again. When you use your fingers to remove the core and seeds, that… whatever it’s called… spit of Satan? gets under your fingernails and it will try to end you. It won’t hurt at first but after an hour or so, it will feel like someone’s shoving tiny bamboo shivs under your nails. Shivs dipped in battery acid. Mixed with lava. And nothing will ease your suffering. I spent the night with my right hand in a glass of milk trying to get some relief. I can usually just whittle the core out with a good paring knife and don’t have to fool with the latex gloves but do whatever works for you. Just do not let your fingers come in direct contact with the insides of the peppers.
And now that you are thoroughly terrified and suspect my obsession with food began at way too early of an age, here’s the recipe :)
Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Jalapeno Poppers
10 jalapeno peppers*
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, drained well
1 16-ounce package bacon (not thick-sliced)
Slice jalapenos lengthwise then remove and discard the seeds and core. Do not do this with your bare hands – use a paring knife or latex gloves.
Beat cream cheese by hand or with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add drained pineapple and stir until thoroughly combined.
Spread cream cheese mixture into jalapeno halves, leveling the top. You don’t want to mound the cream cheese mixture into the jalapenos because the mixture will expand some when cooking.
Cut the fatty ends off of the bacon (about an inch and a half total). Wrap each stuffed jalapeno with one slice of bacon and arrange on a large baking pan that’s been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
Bake poppers at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Baste poppers with barbeque sauce and continue baking for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
*This recipe makes enough filling for twice as many poppers. If you’re making these for a party, double up on the peppers and bacon – trust me, you can’t have too many of these! If not, refrigerate the leftover filling to use as a spread for bagels or crackers.
Why pineapple in heavy syrup?
You need the extra sweetness from the syrup. Even though you’re draining it, the pineapple will be sweeter than the kind packed in juice or with no sugar added.
Can I cut the bacon in half?
Maybe, maybe not. I tried it this way once and the bacon unraveled leaving me with very ugly poppers and a big ol’ mess. You may be successful with this but I would hate for you to go through all the effort to make these to end up with a mess on your hands. Also, as a rule: there’s no such thing as too much bacon.
Can I use center-cut bacon so I don’t have to cut the fatty ends off?
Sure. But it’s usually cheaper to buy regular bacon so that’s what I buy.
Can I grill these?
Absolutely! Grill over medium heat with the lid closed until bacon is crisp.
Can I use a 12-ounce package of bacon?
You can but you won’t have enough bacon. Most 16-ounce packages of standard sliced bacon have about 20 slices.