Pick up the Taste of Home: Recipes Across America cookbook at your local bookstore or order online at tasteofhome.com.
Taste-test a recipe at home, taken from Recipes Across America:
Bacon-Wrapped Cajun Jalapeños by Linda Foreman (field editor), Locust Grove
Preparation time: 20 minutes Bake times: 25 minutes
8 large jalapeño peppers 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning 8 thick-sliced peppered bacon strips
*Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise; remove seeds and center membranes. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Cajun seasoning. Stuff about 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls into each pepper half.
*Cut bacon strips in half widthwise. In a large skillet, cook bacon until partially cooked. Wrap a bacon piece around each pepper; secure with a toothpick.
*Place on a wire rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Discard toothpicks. Serve immediately.
Yield: 16 appetizers
Editor’s Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.