Let’s talk about bacon. I feel like with the explosion of shows like Epic Meal Time people went into a bacon craze that lasted for years. Bacon toothpaste, lip balm, vodka…you name it. This might have been good news for meat-eaters, but for vegetarians it was hard to find an appetizer at a bar that wasn’t wrapped in bacon somehow.
Jalapeno poppers are one of those foods that is now forever covered in bacon. I’ve only ever tried them once a few years ago when I was out at a wings pub and it was the only veggie thing I could eat, and I loved them. They were spicy, cheesy, crunchy and amazing. They were deep-fried and coated in breadcrumbs, which is great for bar food but not necessarily at home if you want to serve up an appetizer.
Some might think taking the bacon out of jalapeno poppers and changing the cooking method to baking sounds like it would make it a little boring, right? WRONG. Cheese and jalapeno with spices stuffed into giant mushroom caps and baked, topped with chopped scallions for a crunch.
I altered this recipe from one I received off CookinBug’s profile from Allrecipes, just left out the bacon and changed the method a little bit. One of my biggest pet peeves with food is soggy textures; it completely ruins food for me. I was afraid that baking the mushrooms for so long in cheese and peppers would make it sloppy, but if you bake the mushrooms upside down before adding the ingredients like I mention in the instructions, you’ll be sog-free.
Don’t forget to submit your favourite recipe to me by January 15th to have it published up on my blog!
- 8 large white mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped and caps reserved
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped (you can hold on to some of the seeds if you want extra spice, just use them in moderation)
- 1 3-oz pack of plain cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp. cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Smoked paprika to taste
- Scallions for garnish, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
On a lightly greased baking sheet, place mushrooms hollow-side down (where the stems used to be should be facing down). Put mushrooms in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly once being taken out of the oven before filling. Leave the oven running at the same temperature.
In a small skillet, saute mushrooms stems, garlic and jalapeno on medium heat for roughly 10 minutes until ingredients soften. Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl. Mix in cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste.
Turn the mushrooms hallow-side up so that a cavity is showing, and generously spoon in cream cheese mixture. Place stuffed mushroom caps back in the oven, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are cooked. If there is lots of excess liquid from the mushrooms, drain the baking sheet and place the mushrooms on a dry paper towel to let the liquid run off. Place them back on the baking sheet and bake for another 5 minutes. Top with scallions and serve immediately.