Last weekend I went camping with some family and friends and we couldn’t have been in a more perfect setting. Backdrop– the rolling Texas hill country at Pace Bend Park. Weather– absolutely perfect. Just cool enough that you could still enjoy the campfire at night, but just sunny enough by morning that we all enjoyed diving in do the cold refreshing lake. And the Food– well I think you know, it was grilled to perfection.
We had a wide spread of camp fare on hand to satisfy our ravenous appetites- hot dogs and brats, steak and eggs, refreshing watermelon, Czech Stop kolaches from West, TX, roasted corn, and of course plenty of beer to quench our thirst. The most talked about campfire treat we indulged in all weekend were the fire-grilled jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon. When you stuff these spicy peppers with cheddar and then wrap them in a slice of thick salty bacon you just can’t go wrong. We used Cheddar Cheese from the Brazos Valley Cheese company, and some thick cut hickory smoked bacon. Our recipe was adapted for the campfire, but you could easily make these in your backyard grill.
Bacon Wrapped, Cheddar Stuffed Jalapenos
15 medium-large Jalapenos (you want at least 2 per person)
1 lb Block of Cheddar Cheese (Brazos Valley Cheese)
15 Slices of Bacon (one slice per jalapeno)
Cut a small sliver out of the jalapeno and remove the seeds and membrane as much as possible. If your jalapenos are really large you can cut them in half, just make sure you still have a nice round jalapeno cup to work with, if your hollowed jalapeno is too flat the cheese will melt out all over the place.
Cut a thick wedge of cheddar cheese to stuff in your hollowed out jalapeno. Then wrap a single slice of bacon tightly around the cheese stuffed pepper. Make sure you don’t have any of the cheese exposed- you want the bacon to create a crispy seal around your jalapeno.
Here’s where the recipe would differ for a campfire vs your backyard grill. On your barbecue pit simply grill the jalapenos over some hot coals for about 20-30 minutes until you bacon is crispy, and your jalapenos are tender. At our campsite- the grill grate we had was too wide and unsteady for me to place the jalapenos straight on the grill so we improvised. I cooked my jalapenos in a make-shift oven by wrapping the batch a few times in some heavy duty aluminum foil. I made sure to spread them in a single layer, avoiding stacking them on top of each other in the package because I still wanted my bacon to get close to the fire and crispy. Once I had my packages doubled up and sealed tight I tossed it straight on to the hot coals of the fire. It stayed there for 20 minutes, then I flipped it to get the other side of my bacon some good contact with the heat and let them cook for about another 10 minutes until the jalapenos were cooked down to bring out the sweetness of their flavor, and the bacon was perfectly crisp with the melted creamy cheese.
If you decide to go camping this summer- here are a few foodie tips to remember when packing for your own weekend camping trips:
- Get plenty of ice at the last gas station on your way in to the campsite (you’ll probably have to make a run each day to refill. ice melts fast in the Texas heat)
- Pack frozen food- it will act as an ice block, and should thaw by the time your ready to cook it the next day.
- Don’t forget to pack a knife to cut, and plenty of plates to cut on
- Heavy Duty Aluminum foil is your BFF at campfire cookouts- pack plenty of it.
- If you decide to roast corn in the husk, let it soak in the icy water of your cooler overnight or at least a few hours before hand otherwise the dry husk will go up in flames.
- Don’t forget the tongs for the grill (we forgot ours the first night so we had to flip our food with sticks- it wasn’t pretty)
- Keep watch on the open fire pit, Remember kids- “ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES“
~HAPPY CAMPING EVERYONE