The start of May means the start of summer, and that means that all my favorite kind of produce is ripe for the picking. And usually, this means some of the best jalapeños are ripe and ready at my local store, and I have to grab some!
This dish is something I love to make for summer cook outs, and I’ve been known to make it as a meal itself while Justin and I chow down while sipping a cool margarita. And today, with Cinco de Mayo celebrations just around the corner, it’s the perfect snack to share with friends.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe given to me by my Aunt Kelly. She makes dozens upon dozens of these, freezes them, and reheats them all year round. They’re a staple at her family’s annual river party for the city of Algonquin, Illinois Founders’ Day.
I start this recipe with about a dozen jalapeños. This will yield about two-dozen stuffed jalapeños. You’ll want to wash them, lob off the tops and cut each one in half long-ways. Once each jalapeño is cut, take a spoon and scoop out the vein (the long whitish parts) and the seeds. The majority of the heat of the jalapeño is stored in the seeds and the vein–cleaning them out will make the peppers easier to eat, leaving more in will create a spicier experience.
The key to this recipe is not to debilitate yourself right off the bat. Jalapeño juices can seek into the skin of your fingers so if you touch your eyes you’ll experience immediate pain. I always wear gloves when I’m cutting and cleaning out the jalapeños.
Next, you’ll want to take a pound of ground sausage, I use hot Italian sausage, and brown it in a pan. When the sausage is all browned, drain the excess fat, and put the sausage in a large bowl. Add two cups of sharp cheddar, or shredded cheese of your choice, 8 ounces of plain cream cheese, and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Scoop a generous amount of the sausage/cheese mixture into each jalapeño half. Line the stuffed halves on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
I like to serve them hot out of the oven, but taking five or so minutes to cool is helpful.
And there you have it, the most delicious summertime snack!
Here’s the recipe information again:
- 12 jalapeños, cut lengthwise and cleaned out
- 1 lb ground hot Italian sausage
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz plain cream cheese
- Worcestershire Sauce, Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut and clean out each jalapeño and line on a baking dish.
- Brown the sausage and drain the fat. Combine in a medium bowl with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper to taste.
- Scoop spoonful of the sausage and cheese mixture into each jalapeño half.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and jalapeños are not tough.