Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop ‘Ems

March 15, 2011 · 22 comments · Print This Post

in Appetizers, Holidays / Entertaining

Do you watch Aarti Sequeira on The Food Network? I do! She has a season pass alongside my idols Nigella Lawson and Ina Garten. Once upon a time I used to watch oodles of shows on Food Network but now I only record a very select few. It’s a hard gig to make it onto my TiVo but Aarti is too adorable to pass up. She’s adorable. Her hair is adorable. The names she gives her recipes are adorable. Even the opening titles to her show are adorable and sort of look like a really expensive sheet of wrapping paper from Paper Source.

Aarti’s claim to fame is that she won The Next Food Network Star. I don’t watch that show as the only even mildly entertaining personality to arise from it is Guy Fieri and I only like him because he shot an episode where he got to bang on bongos with Matthew McConaughey — all right, all right, all-right…

During football season Aarti featured this recipe for Jalapeno Poppers on her show. Apple! Bacon! Cream Cheese! Hot spicy peppers! I was so there. Having returned to my Whole Foods shopping ways I was a tad wrroied that purchasing a metric ton of jalapenos for The Super Bowl would break the bank but they were actually very affordable and sold by weight not per pepper (phew!) I suppose talking about the manner in which vegetables are sold seriously conveys how little I actually pay attention when I’m grocery shopping. Oops!

The Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop ‘Ems were so easy to put together — although I was extra careful and a little paranoid that one of the kittens would find a stray seed and burn their furry little mouths, but as neither Watson or Dexter ran away from the kitchen meowing in pain I believe I was successful at containing the spicy castoffs.

The cooling cream cheese, crisp apple, and rich bacon were the perfect accompaniments to the peppers and I ate them like they were going out of style. Yum!

Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop ‘Ems
Originally published by Aarti Sequeira

1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and minced
3 large scallions, roots sliced off, green and white parts minced finely
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 jalapenos
20 strips thin-sliced bacon, chopped in half
Special equipment: 40 toothpicks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

In a large bowl, stir and break down the cream cheese until smooth. Add the apples and scallions, plus as much salt and freshly ground black pepper as you like.

Slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise, and then either slice out the membranes or use a measuring spoon to scoop them out. Discard the seeds.

Either using a teaspoon or a small icing spatula, fill each jalapeno half with the cream cheese mixture; fill until just over the rim of the jalapeno. Wrap each pepper with a bacon half and secure with a toothpick. Line up the pop ’ems on the prepared baking sheet and pop into the oven until bacon has browned on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy - Panini Happy March 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I love Aarti too! She was my favorite on the Next Food Network Star, so warm and personable. Her food always looks super-flavorful, I’m sure this one is no exception.


2 Donna from Yumma Yumma March 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Wow, so many different flavors. Its got everything…sweet, tart, savory, spicy. Can’t wait to try one of these!


3 Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living March 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

I love Aarti, too! I actually did watch her season of The Next Food Network Star, and was rooting for her to win from the beginning. These Pop ‘Ems sound fantastic – especially with the unique addition of apples. Yours look great!


4 wummy March 16, 2011 at 11:18 am

She was a fun cook to watch!! These look delish!!


5 Kelly March 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

Erin, mmm how fun are these! I love her too. I will admit I used to watch a LOT of food network, but I’ve been easing off it these days. Guess that’s what happens when you watch something so 24-7. Lately I’ve been loving apple in savory dishes, especially when paired with pork, so these sound amazing!


6 Carrie March 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

I looove the idea of putting green apple in these! I have made something similar with just jalapenos, cream cheese, and bacon, but that addition of green apple sounds so intriguing!


7 Lis March 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm

1) Those look delish! I’m totally making them for a birthday party next weekend.

2) Don’t worry about the cats and the peppers… there’s something strange about cats and peppers, either they can’t taste the HOT or they just love it. I’ve had throughout my life (not all at once) 5 cats, and ALL of them went crazy for hot peppers. I would often try to dry out habaneros only to come home from work and find them strewn about the house with teeny kitty bites in them. One day one of the cats spent the day carrying a scotch bonnet around in her mouth like a dog would with a bone, and playing with it… my conclusion was that either they can’t feel the heat from the capsaicin or they like it. Either way, don’t stress yourself out about it next time. Dogs on the other hand do NOT like the hot…


8 Lis March 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm

OK well never mind… I’ve just read a bunch of stuff, and apparently cats CAN taste the heat… so I guess my cats are just pepper heads because I can not keep one on the counter for more than 10 min. without one of the kitties stealing it and eating it… odd.


9 Erin March 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Either way I think this is fascinating and I love that your cats run around with dried peppers. They seriously will play with anything, right?! 🙂


10 nicole March 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I’ve made ‘poppers’ just like this from the Pioneer Woman. They were soo hot. I think that the apple would help cool that heat. Sounds soo good.


11 Elena (running in heels after child) March 17, 2011 at 1:44 am

Those sound great. I make some with just cream cheese and cheddar in the jalapeno and wrap in in bacon. Easy. Done. Yum.

Happy Cooking,



12 Kim @ Feed Me, Seymour March 17, 2011 at 8:02 am

Aarti is living my dream!!! I only wish I had the guts.

I live for jalapeno poppers and such, but never thought to try it with apples! These look so yummy!!! I bet the apple adds a nice cooling touch.


13 Kevan Wendt March 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I have found that cleaning out the japaleno’s is easyest using a grapefruit spoon. The serated edge is the key. Recipe looks great.


14 Dana Zia March 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

These have me droooling! I have got to make these! Thanks for the inspiration!


15 vanillasugarblog March 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm

theres apple in there! oh good. OK, bookmarked then. love this flavor-combo


16 Chowstalker March 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

Hi Erin, these look great! that’s the first time I have seen apples used in poppers, but I bet it really is a nice addition.

I saw where you posted on another blog that you had started eating more paleo/primal. Chowstalker is a recipe sharing site for Paleo/primal recipes and it would be fantastic if you would ever consider sharing some of yours, and I see you are quite skilled with a camera!


17 Erin March 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Thank you so much for the kind note! I’ll definitely check out your service. Finding good Paleo/Primal meals and recipes that aren’t “bachelor” food (i.e beans, beans, eggs, and a big hunk of ugly meat) is my new goal in life 🙂

I have some items that I’ll be writing about soon that I’ve made at home from various sources. I’ll make sure to post them.


18 cassie March 23, 2011 at 3:53 am

omg looks delish!!!!!! i am so tempted..i’ve nnever been a fan of fruit and meat mix but this sounds so yummy!


19 Bren March 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I didn’t watch the season at all but these sure look good even though I don’t eat bacon. I wonder how good they’d be if I sub’d them with duck bacon! yummmm!


20 ecig May 16, 2011 at 4:23 am

Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specially the closing section 🙂 I maintain such info much. I used to be seeking this certain info for a long time. Thanks and good luck.


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