Smoked Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Chile Peppers
An Anaheim pepper is a mild variety of chili pepper. The name “Anaheim” derives from Emilio Ortega, a farmer who brought the seeds to the Anaheim, California, area in the early 1900s.
Yield: 12-15 1-inch stuffed pepper bites
This recipe includes all ingredients that are good in the world in my opinion: green chile peppers, cream cheese, blue cheese and bacon. The peppers are simple and quick to stuff and have a wonderful combination of smoky, creamy, tangy, salty flavors and textures you won’t be able to resist!
The recipe may be increased by keeping the portions the same: 1 Anaheim chile pepper, 1 ounce cream cheese, a few ounces blue cheese crumbles and 2-3 slices bacon depending on the size of the pepper. Each pepper is cut into 1-inch bites, for 4-5 per average sized pepper.
3 large fresh Anaheim Chile Peppers
3 ounces of Cream Cheese, softened
1 6-ounce tub Blue Cheese crumbles
9 slices of Thick Bacon
Wooden Toothpicks (approximately 4 per chile pepper)
Mesquite wood chips
Foil drip pan to fit under the grate OR a homemade drip pan made from heavy duty foil
Heat the gas grill to high until the grill temperature gauge registers temperature to 300 degrees.
Preparing the stuffed peppers:
Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut the length of chile pepper on the top side only (do not cut all the way through). Using a dining knife (not sharp), gently scrape out all the seeds and any excess membrane. Still using the dining knife, smear one ounce of the softened cream cheese in each of the three peppers. Using your fingers fill the pepper with blue cheese crumbles.
Wrapping the chile peppers with bacon:
Hold one end of a piece of bacon across the end of the chile pepper closest to the stem. Secure the bacon by inserting a toothpick through the end of the bacon through the chile pepper and through the bacon on the opposite side of the chile pepper (refer to photos). Holding the bacon strip taut, wrap the bacon slice around the chile pepper, slightly overlapping the prior wrap to cover. Insert toothpicks to secure as needed (approximately 4 per chile pepper). Depending on the size of the chile pepper, 2-3 pieces of bacon will be needed.
Once the grill is at temperature, turn off all burners except one on the outside of the grill (based on a 4 burner grill). Clean the side of the grill with burners off with a wire brush. On this same side, carefully lift the hot grate with grill tools and deposit the drip pan underneath the clean grate. Rub the grate with oil and a folded paper towel.
Place a piece of heavy duty foil over the ignited burner and add a few handfuls of mesquite wood chip on top of the foil. Once the chips begin to smoke, add the prepared hot dogs to the clean, oiled grill (with burners of) and close the grill. Check the grill periodically, ensuring a 300 degree temperature and adding more mesquite chips as needed to keep the smoke going. The stuffed peppers will be cooked in 25-30 minutes and will have a golden hue as well as the bacon will become hard (not crisp in the traditionally way). Allow to cool slightly before slicing into 1-inch lengths across the pepper. Serve warm.