For us grilling enthusiasts, any sports event or holiday is a grand opportunity, nare I say duty, to fire up the grill and display our grilling prowess. March Madness is one of the high points of every year – three weeks of games and excitement – and it is our God-given responsibility to provide righteous fuel for all that game watching. This is Grill Madness, our series over the last two years that brings awesome recipes for entertaining as we watch our brackets crumble. This year we present Picadillo Poppers – fire-grilled stuffed jalapenos rich in flavor and texture. Be sure to double or triple this recipe, as these will disappear fast.
Beginning with the jalapenos, it is important to find ones as fresh and plump as possible to amplify texture. By slicing them open lengthwise on only one side and carefully scooping out the seeds and membranes, a pocket is created to hold maximum filling. Golden raisins and pimiento-stuffed green olives highlight the sweet and salty filling, which also consists of ground beef, onion, rice, cheese, and sherry. The stuffed peppers are then grilled over medium heat for 8-12 minutes in a grill basket to protect the peppers while they roast. They finish with a crisp char on the outside that pops with every bite. So fire up the grill, invite friend or foe, and make known your mad skills! This is Grill Madness 2016. (What else is March Madness for?)
Picadillo Poppers Ingredients
- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
- One 8.8 ounce pouch cooked Spanish-style rice
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
- 1 tablespoons dry sherry or lime juice
- 24 fresh plump jalapeno peppers*
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Picadillo Poppers Directions
- For the filling, in a large skillet cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until meat is brown and onion is tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Stir in cooked rice, the 1 cup cheese, raisins, olives, and sherry. Set aside.
- Cut a lengthwise slit in one side of each jalapeno pepper to create a pocket, being careful not to cut the pepper in half. Cut a very small crosswise slit on both ends of the long slit, making an I-shape opening. Leave stem intact and use a small spoon to remove seeds and scrape out membranes. Spoon filling into peppers.
- Place filled peppers, slit sides up, in a greased grill basket. Preheat grill, then reduce heat to medium. Place basket on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill for 8 to 12 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender and filling is heated through. (For a charcoal grill, grill peppers in basket on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium coals as above.)
- If desired, sprinkle grilled peppers with additional cheese.
*Note: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.
Taken from Better Homes & Gardens