Jalapeño, Cream Cheese, & Bacon Bites (ABTs)
All right, folks. It’s taking everything I’ve got to keep from snickering about the title of these appetizers. Heaven knows I did while I was making them. I made up the name “Jalapeño, Cream Cheese, & Bacon Bites”, but across the world wide web, they are known as “Atomic Buffalo Turds” or “ABTs”.
Yes… Atomic Buffalo… you heard me.
I just couldn’t bring myself to say “turd” in the title of a recipe! I mean, Martha Stewart said it on air, but I am a far cry from her highness.
I blame my husband. He’s a big Christmas light enthusiast and belongs to a forum where people of like mind discuss things such as LEDs, C9s, Light-O-Rama, and so on. Anyway, one of his online buddies (Chuck H.) made ABTs the other night, and my husband has been bugging me to make them since.
To the recipe! First, put on your food-safe gloves. If you are handling raw jalapeños, you don’t want to be taking out your contact lenses that night with the oils of the jalapeño still on your hands. Not that I speak from experience or anything…
Begin by slicing off the top of the jalapeño. Then slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. If you like it hot, leave the veins or membranes in the jalapeño. That is where most of the heat of the pepper lives.
Mix together the softened cream cheese with cayenne pepper, paprika, and some brown sugar. I used 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but you can up that if you’re feeling bold.
Stuff each pepper half with the cream cheese mixture. It’s a messy job, wearing those gloves and all.
Lightly press a little smokie (cocktail sausage) into the cream cheese.
Wrap the whole thing with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Be careful not to pierce through the bottom side of the pepper, as you don’t want cream cheese to leak out of the bottom while they cook. Also, if you overlap the bacon at all, make sure it’s not by much. Two layers of bacon won’t cook right on the grill/smoker.
Cook the peppers on a smoker or a grill until the bacon is done, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, you could probably bake these in a 250-300 degree oven if you don’t care about the “smoky” flavor imparted by the smoker or grill.
My husband took that picture on the grill. One day I asked him if he could help me with his “mad photography skills” and he misheard me and thought I said “mad topography skills”.
Back to the JCCBBs or ABTs (whatever you’re going to call them): We liked the addition of a raspberry chipotle sauce on top after they were finished cooking. I’m sure any sweeter barbecue sauce would be nice.
All-in-all, my husband was very happy that I made them, and I’ll admit they were pretty tasty. But for the love of all things barbecue, can’t they come up with a better name?!
Jalapeño, Cream Cheese, & Bacon Bites
a.k.a. Atomic Buffalo Turds, or ABTs
Adapted from BBQ Addicts
12 fresh, whole jalapeño peppers
12 slices of bacon, cut in half (I used 1 whole pound of thick sliced)
24 little smokies (cocktail sausages)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
Slice the jalapeños in half and remove seed and veins (if desired). Mix together cream cheese, paprika, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar. Stuff each half with cream cheese. Lightly press a little smokie into each half. Wrap each jalapeño with half of a slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Grill or smoke until bacon is cooked, and jalapeños have softened, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, jalapeños can be baked in a 250 to 300 degree oven. Top with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Makes 24 appetizers; serves 8 to 12.