Wow. I cannot BELIEVE the holidays are over and 2012 is here. I’ve spent hours preparing food, and eating food, this holiday season. I think I announced on two separate occasions that I wanted to quit my day job and go into full-time hors d’oeuvres makin’. I love any excuse to make a tray of appetizers, and the holidays gave me plenty!
The first recipe below, Jalepeno Poppers, isn’t all that new or unique but is still totally worth sharing. I made these on Christmas Eve as a prelude to my mother-in-law’s prime rib and they went fast! Don’t let the hot peppers intimidate you: baking the peppers eliminates all but the slightest hint of heat. I actually made these again two nights ago for our New Year’s Eve party, and prepped them early in the day to pop in the oven when needed.
The second recipe below, Caramelized Onion Phyllo Cups, is actually something I made up on my own. I thought the sweet and creamy flavors of caramelized onion dip would pair perfectly with the crispy crunch of phyllo cups, and I was oh-so-right. These flew off the table at my father-in-law’s family Christmas party!
(disclaimer – pics below are lower quality than normal and taken with my iphone. Don’t hate!)
Jalepeno Poppers – can’t remember the source!
15 jalepeno peppers, rinsed
half-package of bacon (don’t get thick-cut or center-cut)
8 oz cream cheese
Prepare peppers: chop off both ends. Slice in half. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and all membranes. Rinse pepper half under cool water and set on a cookie sheet. (Note – if you have gloves, I recommend wearing them. If you don’t, please be very cautious about touching your eyes, your kids, your mouth, etc….jalepenos sting, and even the smallest rub of the eye will burn for an hour or so.) When all peppers are prepped, bake at 350 for about 6 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.
Using a knife, scoop a small piece of cream cheese into the pepper, leveling the cream cheese in the pepper with the knife. Cut a piece of bacon approx. 2-3 inches long (or longer if you love bacon!) Wrap the bacon around the pepper however your pretty little heart desires. Secure with toothpick. Increase heat to 375 and bake until bacon is crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Peppers and cream cheese will also take on some browned, roasted spots. This is the good stuff; don’t let it scare you!
Caramelized Onion Phyllo Cups – no recipe source
3 packages frozen phyllo cups (about 45 cups total)
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 TBS butter
1 tsp sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C real mayonnaise
1-2 TBS Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
1 tsp+ cayenne (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
Melt butter over med-low heat. Add onions. Sautee over medium heat approx. 30 minutes, or until VERY browned and caramelized. I actually sauteed mine for an hour over low heat, but either way works. Add sugar about half-way through.
When onions are caramelized, add remaining ingredients (except phyllo cups) and mix well. Be sure to taste the dip to ensure that you like the flavors! We like some heat so went a little heavy on the cayenne.
Thaw phyllo cups and add a bit of dip to each cup. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly, around 15 minutes.