Make Your Own Damn Jalepeno Poppers

These spicy little bastards take some time to put together, but they are well worth it.  The nice thing is, you can make them the night before, put them in your customized popper tray, and take them from fridge to grill when you are ready.  Also, they keep well in the fridge after cooking, and are surprisingly tasty cold.  If you don't have the means to acquire said popper tray, or you have banned yourself from Cabela's because you are afraid you might blow $500 on new tackle, these can be done without the tray.  Just lean them on their side and roast them, but try to get the tops as vertical as possible.  As they start to really heat up, they're gonna need constant attention as the water chestnut will certainly try to escape and take some cream cheese with it.  Not that they don't require attention when they are on the tray, as in most cases the bacon fat will cause flare-ups.  Just keep the heat low and keep them on the grill until that bacon looks crispy.  Don't fear a blackened bottom on the pepper...that's where the flavor comes from.

This recipe came from our old friends at Diner's Drive-In's and Dives by way of The BBQ Shack in Paola, Kansas.  Rest assured, Mangino has had a few of these in his time.  It's rare that I fail to alter a recipe I find on the internet, but this time, things looked pretty much perfect, so all I added was a bit of my home-blended chili spice on top....  From

Jalapeno Poppers

1 can whole water chestnuts
2 cups soy sauce
Approximately 1 1/2 to 2-pounds brown sugar
1 dozen large jalapeno peppers
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 pound thin sliced bacon
All-purpose bbq rub

Preheat grill over medium-high heat.

Take whole water chestnuts, put in a plastic bowl or container of some type and cover the chestnuts with soy sauce. Then pour enough brown sugar into the bowl to cover the chestnuts. It will dissolve as you put it in so it may take a fair amount of brown sugar. Let them marinate, refrigerated, overnight. In the morning, stir the mixture and let sit until you need them.

Cut the stems off the peppers. The larger the jalapeno the better. Core the jalapenos. You can find a tool called a chili twister at most BBQ/fireplace stores. Warm the package of cream cheese in the microwave and squeeze it into a quart freezer bag. Cut a little bit of the corner off the bag and use it as a pastry bag. Fill only the bottom part of the pepper. Now stuff 1 or 2 chestnuts into the pepper. You may need to cut the chestnuts in half. Leave a little space at the top of the pepper. Take a pound of bacon (thin sliced works best) and cut strips of bacon in half. Wrap each pepper with the half slices of bacon. Use toothpicks to keep bacon in place. Using the rest of the cream cheese, fill the remaining space at the top of the peppers. I sprinkle a little bit of all-purpose bbq rub on top for some color. They are ready to cook.

Place onto grill and cook until bacon is done. Watch them closely! If the bacon grease pools it will catch fire. Open grates work good (but the bacon drippings will still catch fire), but an offset fire works best. Also at most BBQ/fireplace stores you can find holders that will hold 1, 2, or 3 dozen jalapenos.