Jalapeno Poppers

12 - 18 fresh jalapeno peppers (larger than average)
4 habanera peppers, minced very fine (2 Tbsp)
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp, sweet red bell pepper, minced very fine
1 Tbsp chives, minced very fine
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Creole spice
½ tsp salt
1 lb thinly sliced bacon
12 - 18 toothpicks, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
Preheat the grill or preheat oven to 450°F

Blend cream cheese with habanera, grated cheese, chopped garlic, red pepper, Worcestershire, Creole spice, salt and pepper.

Slice each jalapeno lengthwise along the top side, removing about one third of the pepper from stem to stern, leaving a pepper-boat kind of thing, discard the top portion... Remove the seeds with a small spoon (baby pabulum spoon works great) if you want less heat.

Using a pastry bag or the pabulum spoon, place some cheese filling mixture into the pepper until full (level with the top), try not to overfill as the filling will leak out during baking.

Wrap each pepper with 1 to 2 strips of bacon; ensure the bacon cover most of the pepper from top to bottom, covering the pepper and securing the filling inside. Secure the bacon with a toothpick pushed through the pepper to keep the bacon in place as it cooks.

Place completed bacon wrapped poppers on an elevated rack sitting above a cookie tray.  I used some pastry cooling racks on my foil lined cookie tray for this. You want to keep the poppers elevated so they do not get soggy bottoms.  I hate soggy bottoms, I hope you do too.

Roast the peppers until the bacon is fully cooked, crispy almost. The reason for the very hot oven is to ensure the bacon crisps before the peppers completely wilt down and begin to release moisture, about 8-12 minutes, remove from oven and place on a serving tray immediately to stop the cooking process from the hot pan, let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Please note that the filling by this time is hot enough to burn the roof of your mouth and render you with a speech impediment for a week or two if you are not careful when popping these, so let them cool for a bit before serving, especially if someone from the Liberal party is dining at your table (we all know how THEY can be). You do not want to witness the spectacle of a molten hot jalapeno popper cauterizing someone’s yap at your table, unless of course that is your intent.  I will not judge you on this point.