Summer may be officially over, but Indian summer was in full effect this past week. Let’s embrace these last few 80-degree days by squeezing in a few more grilling sessions, shall we?
I’ve long been a fan of jalapeño poppers of the breaded, deep-fried, so-bad-for-you-they’re-good variety. I like to tell myself these are slightly less artery-clogging.
Grilled jalapeño poppers were first introduced to me at a friend’s backyard barbecue in Philadelphia eight years ago. Sheer genius! They promptly joined my regular rotation of summer staples. We originally wrapped them with bacon, but in Argentina the availability of American bacon cut thinner than 1/4 inch was slim to none, and no one likes a popper wrapped in raw pork fat. So instead we started using jamón crudo, and it was a huge win. It’s leaner and crisps faster, with no worries about it cooking the whole way through. We haven’t looked back since.
I figured grilling up some poppers would also be a good way to use the bounty of jalapeños I got from my balcony garden. And by “bounty” I mean…two. Thankfully, the local producers supplying the Fort Greene farmers market seem to be a bit more successful at pepper-growing than me.
PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED JALAPEÑO POPPERS
12 – 15 whole jalapeño peppers, seeded
8 ounces cream cheese
4-oz package of prosciutto
To seed the jalapeños but leave them whole, slice off the stem at the top and use a thin knife to scrape out the seeds. Be careful – wear rubber gloves if necessary. Stuff each pepper full of cream cheese, then wrap the peppers in strips of prosciutto and secure with toothpicks. Place on hot charcoal grill until peppers are charred and prosciutto is crispy, flipping halfway through (approximately 5-10 minutes total). Allow to cool slightly before eating as the melted cream cheese will be very hot.