Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
Taking the seeds and membranes out of the jalapenos removes about 90 percent of the heat, leaving a really great smoked pepper flavor. This recipe from Colonel Tommy Tompkins of the United States Air Force in San Antonio, Texas, was the winner of the 2000-2001 First Prize Award from Cookshack.
MAKES 24 APPETIZERS
12 Large jalapeno peppers
½ pond crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments
1(8-ounce) package cream cheese
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground celery seed
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Season salt and season pepper to taste
12 strips lean, center-cut bacon
Cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise, wearing rubber gloves if desired. Scoop out the seed and the membranes. Drain the crabmeat well. Combine the crabmeat, cream cheese, onion, and garlic powder, celery seed, lemon juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and mix well. Add season salt, and season pepper to taste (for the most part all of the seasonings are done to taste, and you may find some seasonings that you like better). Refrigerate mixture over night, taste, and adjust seasonings. Prepare the smoker with mesquite wood (mesquite wood can get very bitter with just a little too much wood. I use Hickory or my favorite, Jack Daniels Oak) to 200 degrees. Divide the filling equally among each of the pepper halves. Cut the bacon strips in half, wrap around each half pepper, and secure with a toothpick to keep the bacon in place. Place on smoker racks, and smoke until the bacon is cooked, 1 ½ to 2 hours.