Blistered Jalapeño Bites

Though I have lived in Austin for four years now, the not-from-Texas stereotype finally (and literally) stung during my attempt at this recipe. Jalapeños are sprinkled in my restaurant meals here and there, but never before had they entered my kitchen. Without hesitation, I slightly sliced open the jalapeños and removed the seeds with a spoon and my hands after charring them in the broiler. Then, I wiped my eyes. And my nose.

Soon enough, my face was swollen, bright red, and stinging uncontrollably! An ice pack did the trick after 30 minutes of hilarious, hysterical pain. Thank goodness these babies turned out to be tasty. But, lesson learned: WEAR GLOVES while working with jalapeños!

I served the starter on this simple dinner plate, which I set against a fun bamboo charger for a summery vibe.

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8 jalapeños 8 slices center cut bacon 1 cup shredded mozzarella 1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1. Grill (or broil) jalapeños for 3-5 minutes, until lightly grilled and blistered. With a sharp knife, cut a 2-inch line into the jalapeño and remove seeds with a spoon.

2. Mix mozzarella and oregano in a bowl, then stuff a large pinch of the mixture into each jalapeño. Wrap a piece of bacon around the jalapeño tightly to seal the mozzarella inside of the pepper.

3. Grill jalapeños until bacon is browned, approximately 5 minutes. Serve warm.

adapted from food network