Apologies for my disappearance, things have been pretty hectic at work and as much as I wish that this blog was my full-time job, unfortunately, it is not. Today I’m sharing with you an appetizer recipe that is as simple as it is tasty. It is also very low on carbs and you can prepare and enjoy with the whole family. I’ve invited some friends over for helping me and my husband to finish a project of putting a trophy shelf in our study (my husband used to be a professional chess player when he was younger) and of course we needed to cook something yummy for our wonderful helpers. However, I had an appointment in the beauty salon that morning and wouldn’t have a lot of time to invest on it after I got home. So I decided to do this recipe. And also involved some other friends in the prep process. It was so much fun! I hope you enjoy it too.
Let’s get started!
For the appetizer itself, you’re only going to need 3 ingredients: shrimp, jalapeno peppers, and BACON! Yes, tasty, moist-y, fatty: bacon. The most interesting thing is that the bacon is all the season you will need for this, no salt or pepper. Just bacon is enough, trust me. I used (1) pound of peeled and deveined shrimp, (4) jalapeno peppers, and (1) package of sliced applewood smoked bacon. Don’t forget to pre-heat your oven at 450F!
The prep, as you see below, is very simple and the more people you have helping the quicker you will be done with it.
You’re going to butterfly the shrimp, as you can see in the picture I took below. If you don’t know what butterfly means it is simply cutting the shrimp meat down the curved part of the tail and spreading it open, resembling a butterfly with its open wings.
Roll it, baby, roll it!
Next, you’re going to slice the jalapeno into small strips, put it inside the butterflied shrimp and wrap it with half of a bacon slice. To make sure the bacon will stay wrapped, close the end with a toothpick, just like this:
Tip 1: Make sure you remove all seeds and skin from inside the jalapeno, using a knife or a spoon. This will guarantee that the poppers only have the flavor of the jalapeno, but not the spice. Also, some people have very sensitive skin on their hands and might prefer to use gloves to avoid burning on the tip of your fingers later. To me, jalapenos are fine… however, I had a very bad burn from trying to slice habaneros with my bare hands… won’t make this mistake again! LOL
You’re almost there!! Just add all your mounted poppers into a cooking rack and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the parchment paper edges are pointing up.
Tip 2: Make sure that the parchment paper edges are pointing up. All the fat from the bacon will drop when you bake these poppers, so to avoid messing up your oven with dripping bacon fat – as I’ve myself done before – just use the parchment paper as your ally and making cleaning easier for you. 😉
Bake it for 20-25 minutes, making sure you flip them at the 10-minute mark. They’re going to be super crispy, even though they’re baked and not fried!! Awesome, right?
While you wait for the poppers to be out of the oven you can prepare a very refreshing (and also easy) dipping sauce to go with it. You’re going to need (1) 6 Oz container of plain almond yogurt (did I mention that this dipping is dairy-free?), (1) minced garlic clove, (1/4) cup of finely chopped cilantro leaves, (1) tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice, (1/4) of teaspoon of ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all the above ingredients together and have this less than a minute creamy lime-cilantro sauce.
Once the poppers are baked, let it cool for 5-10 minutes and ENJOY!!
- 1 pound peeled and deveined Shrimp
- 4 jalapeño peppers
- 1 package sliced applewood smoked bacon
- 1 6 Oz. cup plain almond yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, Minced
- ¼ cups cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a rack on top the tinfoil and set aside.
- Butterfly the shrimp one by one with a small and sharp knife and then set aside.
- Slice jalapeno in small sticks, making sure you remove all the membrane and seeds using your fingers or a spoon.
- To assemble the poppers, place a slice of jalapeno against the slit in the shrimp and then wrap the whole thing with a ½ slice of the bacon. Secure with a toothpick and then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
- Place in the oven for 20–25 minutes, flipping once at the 10-minute mark. The poppers are done when the shrimp is cooked through and bacon is nice and crispy.
- While the shrimp is in the oven, combine yogurt with garlic, cilantro, lime juice, ground cumin, salt and black pepper.
- Serve shrimp jalapeno poppers with sauce on the side.