Jalapeno poppers are a simple and popular appetizer. There’s not a whole lot to them — jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon, then baked or grilled. (The Pioneer Woman has a good recipe for traditional ones here.) Last year at Central Market’s “Passport to France” promotion, however, they took jalapeno poppers to a new level — stuffed with brie and dried apricots, and wrapped in duck bacon. Oh my, these things were tasty. Duck bacon was new to me. D’Artagnan’s wood-smoked duck bacon is made from Moulard duck breast, also known as magret. The duck bacon strips are thick and meaty, and add a great smoky flavor without all the fat of traditional bacon. (I remove the small strip of fat before using the duck bacon, but you may prefer to leave it on.) According to D’Artagnan, the USDA requires it to label its duck bacon as “uncured” because it has no added nitrates or nitrates.
Speaking of French things in Texas, there is actually a city named Paris in Texas, located about 100 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (There is a 1984 movie named Paris, Texas which, although it was supposed to take place there, was not actually filmed there). Jokingly referred to as the “Second Largest Paris in the World,” by its residents, Paris, Texas is one of 15 American cities named Paris. The city has a 65-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, which was built in 1993. As the story goes, Paris, Tennessee had a 60-foot Eiffel tower, which it replaced with a 70-foot one to beat the Texas one by 5 feet. Not to be outdone, the Texas town topped its Eiffel Tower with a giant red cowboy hat, slightly tilted, beating Tennessee for the tallest Eiffel Tower replica. (Because everything is bigger in Texas, right?)
Paris, Texas is also home to Evergreen Cemetery, which purportedly boasts the only monument with Jesus wearing cowboy boots. (It’s not entirely clear that the statute is supposed to be Jesus. Some think it is an angel or a Shakespearean character.)
Jesus wearing cowboy boots
|DUCK BACON JALAPENO POPPERS|| |
- 6 fresh jalapenos*
- 4 dried apricots
- 2 ounces brie*
- 6 strips duck bacon
- *Remember to exercise care when handling jalapenos, and avoid rubbing your eyes after handling them.
- *Freezing the brie briefly makes it easier to slice.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the stem end off of the jalapenos and discard. Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds and ribs with a small spoon.
- Cut apricots lengthwise into three pieces. Slice brie into rectangles approximately 1-1/2" x ¼". Remove strip of fat from duck bacon strips, and cut each strip in half lengthwise.
- Place a piece of apricot and piece of brie in each jalapeno half. Wrap a strip of bacon around the jalapeno and secure with a toothpick. Place the stuffed jalapenos in a small baking dish or pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes, or until jalapenos are soft and cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Jalapenos prepped and awaiting their filling
Dried apricot slivers and brie
Brie and apricot getting cozy
Wrapped in duck bacon, it’s ready for the oven
Poppers, y’all! Bon appetit!
Can’t find duck bacon? Use regular bacon — trust me, no one will complain!