Do you like jalapeno poppers? We do. What’s not to like? Jalapenos, cream cheese, and bacon, baked to perfection. Simple and simply good. I know not everyone shares my love of jalapenos. My upper GI fights back when I wolf down my favorite jalapeno-laden burger, and I pay dearly for the occasional indulgence.
Even that can’t put a permanent damper on my love of jalapenos. But I should say my warm feelings started out less-than-warm: in fact, until just a few years ago, I routinely picked them off our pizzas and nachos. I liked the residual heat but not the tongue-searing encounters with those little green slices. But over time, my heart grew fonder, and now I will fight for the last pepper on the nachos, and eat them with abandon on just about anything.
This recipe can be adjusted for your personal preferences. If you are like the former me, you can scale back the number of peppers in this recipe, and seed them to keep it mild. If you like it hot, the more the merrier.
First things first, I want to give credit where it’s due; I stumbled over the original recipe here. I adapted it and served it for our football view-a-thon over the New Year’s holidays. We tackled a lot of the dish when it first came out of the oven, and then more over the next day or two. I wish I had gotten a picture–I used my new Fiesta pie plate, since a pie wasn’t in my short-term menu plans.
So here’s my adapted version, in time for you to add it to your Super Bowl food starting lineup…it’ll be on ours.
Hot Popper Dip
4-6 fresh whole jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (I used 6 and seeded half of them before I diced them up; I’d say it was moderately spicy)
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced into 1/2 inch pieces and cooked (I microwaved it for about 3 minutes until crispy, then drained on paper towels)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup diced green onions including tops
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup butter, melted
Dash coarse-ground pepper
Heat oven to 350. Tip: To keep those stinging capsacins off your fingertips, use food service gloves to handle them. Or be sure to use only one hand to touch the cut peppers. (Use the other to cut them up. This is REALLY important if you need to remove contact lenses the same day you make this dip! Ask me how I know
Combine all dip ingredients. Spray a shallow dish (Quiche pan, pie pan, 9-inch glass baking dish, etc.) with cooking spray and spread dip evenly. Top with crackers and Parmesan cheese; drizzle with butter and sprinkle with a bit of paprika and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly. Serve warm with Ritz crackers or corn chips (Fritos or tortilla chips.) Enjoy!
This dip can also be mixed up in advance and refrigerated, then baked just before serving. If you do that, allow your dish sit on a counter while preheating the oven to avoid putting a cold stoneware or glass dish directly from refrigerator into a hot oven.