It’s been a good summer, so far. My daughter joined her first Tee-ball league which I had to take her to. It was well worth it for the entertainment value alone. Watching a bunch of 4 and 5 year old's trying to grasp the fundamentals of baseball is a recipe for mayhem and hilarity. There were kids that cried the entire time they ran the bases after hitting a ball, kids who couldn’t grasp the concept of running to first base after hitting the ball, first base men who missed every ball thrown at them while they talked to the runner on first, the list goes on and on.

My wife and I also bought new bikes this summer and I’ve rediscovered my love of bicycling. Looking at me now, you’d never guess that I used to do a lot of serious biking while in high school. I hadn’t realized how much I missed until I got back up on a bike again, after 20+ years.

 I love Jalapeno Poppers, but with all this heat I wanted something a little on the lighter side and something that wouldn’t require me to fire up a pot of hot oil, heating up the house. By skipping the breading and grilling the jalapenos, instead of frying them, that took care of those 2 requirements. Creating the shrimp stuffing elevates this dish from standard bar food to a great little dish that can be used in a number of settings, from casual to semi upscale.

Grilled Shrimp Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
makes 12 poppers

2 slices Bacon, thick cut, finely chopped
2 Tbl. Onion, finely minced
1 clove Garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/4 pound Shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed and finely chopped
1/3 cup Co-Jack Cheese, shredded
2oz. Cream Cheese
6 each Jalapenos, medium to large in size

Place bacon in a saute pan set over medium high heat. Saute until bacon is crisp and most of the fat has rendered out. Remove bacon and reserve. Pour off all but about 2 tsp. of bacon fat from pan and add the onions. Saute over medium heat for 1 minute, add garlic and saute just until starting to soften, making sure not to burn the garlic. Remove from pan and place with the bacon. Allow bacon, onion and garlic to cool to room temperature. Combine this mixture with the shrimp and the cheeses. Mix until thoroughly combined and place in fridge until needed. Meanwhile, cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise, keeping stem intact. Carefully remove the ribs and seed pod, with a knife, so you are left with a little “boat.”

Using about 1 1/2 to 2 Tbl. of the shrimp mix, stuff the jalapeno halves to overflowing. Depending on the size of your jalapenos you might have leftover stuffing to do even more. Allow to chill for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your grill. Place the jalapenos over medium low heat, cover and allow to cook until peppers are tender and stuffing is fully cooked, approximately 9-12 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the jalapenos.

Once done, if jalapenos aren’t nicely charred on bottom, place over high heat and cook just until the skin starts to blister and peel. Serve immediately topped with a bit of sour cream thinned slightly with a bit of half and half.