Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken!

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers are one of my favorite appetizers. Then, I ran across a recipe with the same flavors stuffed inside a bacon wrapped chicken breast! Well, you know what happened next, right? Yep! This was dinner last night…

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Stuffed Chicken

It’s SO simple and easy! I used the same filling from my Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers and they came out perfectly! Why didn’t I think of this before? This meal is going into our usual dinner rotation and I couldn’t be happier!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Chicken
Inspired from Closet Cooking – Serves 4

4 large chicken breasts, pounded thin
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, diced, both green and white parts
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 jalapeños, finely diced
8 slices bacon
Salt and Lemon Pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, cheddar, onions, garlic and jalapeño together. Set aside.

On a cutting board, lay chicken breasts flat. Season both sides with salt and lemon pepper. Place 1/4 of the mixture on the widest section of each breast. Roll the breast up tightly. Wrap two pieces of bacon around each breast. Secure with a toothpick if needed.

Place bacon-wrapped breasts on a rack in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.

Bacon wrapped jalapeño chicken

We really enjoyed these. Start to finish it took less than an hour to get on the table. I love that!

Try them yourself and see what you think!

The Top 12 of 2012!

The year is drawing to a close. As we say goodbye to 2012, I want to share with you the Top 12 posts of the year (according to Word Press!) It’s been fabulously delicious journey and I am looking forward to seeing what new things we can eat and experience together in 2013!

Number 12: Follow That Chef – Kirsten Gum!
Chef Kirsten Gum
Kirsten is a crack up! She is one of the most down to earth and vibrant people I met this year. I was blessed not only to follow her around the Santa Monica Farmers Market, but also take several other classes with her at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories. Coming in at Number 12 and the ONLY Follow That Chef to make it into the top 12!

Number 11: Ghirardelli Brownies!
I have never been shy about being a self-proclaimed “Ghirardelli Girl” (that really should be trademarked!) I made these brownies after the Ghirardelli outlet opened just a few miles from my house. The girl working there suggested this recipe to another customer and I was HOOKED! The variations of these brownies are only limited to your favorite flavor of Ghirardelli chocolate squares!

Number 10: Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Cheesecake Filling!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Cheesecake Filling!
These were a Valentines Day treat I made for my store team. As I recall, I had to make two batches because they disappeared so quickly! They are a sweet combination of three of my favorite things!

Number 9: PBK Brownie Bars!
PBK Brownie Bars
Brownies layered with peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups,then covered with chocolate rice crispy treats. I made them originally as bowling snacks and they took off from there! My very first guest post on another blog, I shared these brownies! I took them to the Share Our Strength LA Food Bloggers Bake Sale this year and have made them several times since. If you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out!

Number 8: Sweet Heaven Bars
Sweet Heaven Bars
Another bowling snack favorite! Chocolate chips, Toffee Chips and a gooey Caramel Center! It’s a triple threat of awesome-ness!

Number 7: Chocolate dipped Potato Chip Cookies!
Chocolate and Potato Chip Cookies
Thanks to Smitten Kitchen and Chef Emeril Lagasse, these cookies have quickly become a family favorite! A brilliant way to use the crumbs at the bottom of a potato chip bag. They go from brilliant to legendary when you dip them in chocolate. YUM!

Number 6: Bacon wrapped Jalapeño Poppers!
Bacon wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
We’ve made these for Christmas Parties, New Years Eve Parties, Superbowl Parties, Fourth of July celebrations! They are perfect for any celebration really! For a simple vegetarian version, just omit the bacon.

Number 5: Chocolate Caramel Surprise Crackle Cookies!
Chocolate Crackle Cookies with a caramel center
The most recent of my posts to make it into the top 12, these Chocolate Caramel Surprise Crackle Cookies are deceptively simple to make and very hard to resist! The caramel center is a sweet surprise hidden in these indulgent cookies!

Number 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oreo Brownie Bars
Chocolate Chip and Oreo Brownie Bars
Another layered bar from our bowling days! My youngest son made these recently for a “Bake Off” at work. That’s right, my boy bakes! He won first prize with them too. 🙂 They are very decadent!

Number 3: Zucchini and Potato Pancakes!
Zucchini and Potato Pancakes
I am so happy these savory pancakes made it into the top 5! This was one of the first recipes I made from my Sunday’s With Joy cooking group. Cooking and baking our way through Joy The Bakers cookbook has been awesome. I’ve learned so much from Joy and from our group! There are so many talented people out there! Plus, I love Zucchini and this post has some of my favorite photos too. Food as art! Who knew?!?!

Number 2: Santa Hat Brownie Bites!
Santa Hat Brownie Bites
Adorable little brownie bites with frosting and a strawberry “hat” on top! These are perfect treats for Christmas parties! P.S. They are kind of like potato chips… no one can eat just one!

We’ve made it all the way to #1! DRUM ROLL PLEASE! Taking the top spot by a landslide…

NUMBER 1: Melted Snowman Cookies!!
Melted Snowman Cookies
I LOVE the expressions on these cookies! They are my greatest accomplishment in cookie making thus far. They are also probably part of the reason most of you are here, so THANK YOU for that!!

Hmmm… in looking over this list, I wonder if I should be concerned that nine of the top twelve are desserts, eight have chocolate in them, five are made with brownies and only two are savory? Nahhhh! It’s just been a SWEET year!

Thank you so much for joining me on my culinary adventures! I hope the coming year brings bright blessings for all of us and perhaps a few more savory items. 😉

Main Dish Monday! Guest Post from Kitchen Tested!

Main Dish Monday – Guest Post from Kitchen Tested
Mock Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

I’m really excited to share this recipe with all of you on My Imperfect Kitchen. I am a huge fan of Sara and her blog and I love to read about all of her “imperfect” kitchen adventures. And now I want to welcome all of you to my own imperfect kitchen. For all who don’t know me, my name is Melinda and my blog, Kitchen Tested, is all about adventurous and unique cooking.

I love to try new recipes and when I say I’ll try anything, I really mean it. Okay, so maybe I won’t eat olives and capers, but every girl has her limits, right?!?

So when I was deciding what dish to share with all of you for “Main Dish Monday,” I was torn between an old family favorite or a new recipe that I hope will one day become an old family favorite. Obviously, I went with the second option and put together something new and extremely delicious! Who would I be if I chose the ordinary option?!?

So here it is: Mock-Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers. Just a quick note that I chose mock-crab because I am an Orthodox Jew and eat strictly kosher food, so no real crab (or any shellfish) for me. But hey, if you can eat crab, go with the real thing!

Mock-Crab Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

10 jalapenos
1 tsp canola oil
¼ lb. mock-crab meat
3 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp + ¾ cup dried bread crumbs
2 tsp fresh lime juice
4 eggs, divided
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
½ cup all-purpose flour

Heat the oven to broil, toss jalapenos with canola oil and arrange on a foil-line baking sheet. Broil for 10-12 minutes, turning the jalapenos several times until blackened.
Take out the peppers and lower the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the jalapenos to a paper bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Wearing gloves, peel the skin off of the jalapenos and set back on the baking sheet.

Cut a slit down the length of each pepper and scoop out all of the seeds with a small spoon or your hands (if you are wearing gloves). If you want your poppers hotter, leave some of the seeds in. That’s where all of the heat lies.
In a bowl, mix together the crab, cream cheese, cilantro, parsley, 1 ½ cups bread crumbs, lime juice and 1 egg yolk. Carefully stuff each jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture, being sure not to rip the peppers open. Lightly squeeze the peppers to make sure they stay together and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, get your bowls ready for dipping the jalapenos. In one bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place flour in a second bowl. In a third bowl, stir together 1 egg yolk and 2 whites. Set up the bowls alongside the jalapenos and working with one pepper at a time, dredge in the flour, dip in the eggs then roll in bread crumbs and place back on the baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and that’s it!

Who needs to fry the jalapenos when you can bake them and still get the crunchy exterior and delicious creamy interior?!?

I think I have a new family favorite here! So glad I took a chance and tried something a little different. The jalapeno still has a bit of spice without burning your mouth and the light cream cheese is enhanced by the texture of the mock-crab. Absolutely delicious!

Thanks Melinda! If you like this post, please check out her blog at: “Kitchen Tested

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers!

It’s a tradition to bring something savory and something sweet to our family Christmas party. This year our savory treat was Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers! These spicy little darlings have quickly become one of our family favorites. We make them on New Years Eve and for our Superbowl Food Fest! We’ll probably make them for graduation this year too! We love them! This recipe is loosely based on The Pioneer Woman’s BBQ Poppers. We’ve modified them to fit our family tastes. Feel free to do the same! This recipe makes 50 poppers, so if you don’t have a large family, cut the recipe in half.

Start with some gorgeous fresh Jalapenos. You want them to be about two to three inches long. I found these at our farmers market for $0.49 lb. 25 poppers cost me less than $2.00! I love that!

Cut them in half lengthwise. Try to keep the stems intact. It makes them look prettier! Always use gloves when handling peppers and be careful!

Remember the heat of the jalapeno comes from the seeds and those white membranes. Scrape them out completely, or if you’re feeling spicy leave a few seeds in the shells.
Mix soft cream cheese, grated sharp cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and minced garlic together in a bowl.

Stuff each pepper half with cheese, then wrap with bacon. MMmmMMmm! Secure the bacon with a toothpick and throw them in the oven!

You can also make them without bacon, but why would you do that??? (Ok, if you do, they’ll look like this…)

Bake at 275 degrees for about an hour. Serve hot from the oven, or warm or at room temperature. They are delicious no matter what.

Don’t they look good? Better look fast because they will disappear quickly!

Here is the full recipe!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
You’ll need:
2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 green onions (both green and white parts) sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
25 slices of thin bacon, cut in half crosswise (approx 2 lbs)
25 fresh jalapenos
Rubber gloves for handling the jalapenos

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. We’re baking low and slow!
Begin by cutting the jalapenos in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scrape out the membranes and seeds. (If you like your poppers with a bit more spice, leave some of the seeds!) In a bowl you’ll combine the cheeses, onions and garlic. Beat them together with a mixer until blended. Stuff each jalapeno half with cheese mixture. Gently wrap half a piece of bacon around the jalapeno, covering as much of the cheese mix as possible. Use a toothpick to secure the bacon. Cook the poppers on a rack over a sheet pan (there will be a lot of grease from the bacon) for an hour or until the bacon is sizzling.

To make a vegetarian version – don’t use bacon! They come out perfectly without it. (Don’t tell my family I said that!!)

You can also brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce. The possibilities are endless! I hope your family loves them as much as we do! Enjoy!

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