More Super Bowl Specials: Goat Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon

Peppers are one of the most versatile veggies out there.  There are so many varieties and cooking with them is fun.  Here is a nice twist to the jalapeno.  Stuff them with goat cheese and wrap them in bacon.

A sure-fire crowd pleaser, this Super Bowl party fare couldn’t be easier to prepare. The spicy jalapenos , tart goat cheese and smoky bacon offer an irresistible contrast of flavors. Your guests will beg for more.


12 slices of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon (about 1 lb.)

12 jalapeno peppers

2/3 lb .creamy goat cheese

1/3 cup chopped chives


Slowly cook bacon on a cool part of the grill turning over once until cooked through but still pliable. (Thinly sliced bacon and quick cooking will crisp the bacon.)

Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Fill each half with goat cheese mounding it slightly. Cut each piece of bacon in half. Wrap one piece of cooked and cooled bacon around each pepper half and sprinkle with chives. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil on a medium hot grill until the jalapeno is slightly charred. Serve. Makes 24 stuffed peppers.

Note: Bacon can also be cooked on a grill pan on the stove top and the stuffed and wrapped peppers placed on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until peppers soften slightly.

Photographer Bill Brady

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Focaccia with Figs and Prosciutto

If your acquaintance with figs so far has been the familiar Newtons, you’re in for a delicious surprise—fresh figs.  Soon to appear in northeast markets, fresh figs, with their honey sweet flavor and soft texture, are worth seeking out.  Luscious, yet fragile, they should be eaten no more than a couple days after purchase.  They should feel soft to the touch, yet not mushy. Store carefully in refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before eating.

Probably the most popular are the purplish Black Mission figs with light pink flesh.  Calimyrna figs have a yellowish skin with a pale amber flesh.  Kadota figs have green skins with a rosy-colored flesh and are less sweet than other varieties.

This lovely appetizer makes a perfect introduction. (Serves 4)


A 3 1/2 by 7-inch section of focaccia

Large handful of fresh pea shoots

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and pepper

8 fresh figs, rinsed and stems removed

8 oz. prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced


1. Cut the section of focaccia into two 3 1/2-inch squares.  Cut each in half horizontally. Toast in a 400 degree oven for 2 minutes.

2. Toss pea shoots with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

3. Slice figs vertically into quarters.

4. Place each focaccia square on a small plate.

5. Top each with a small bunch of pea shoots.

6. Arrange 8 fig quarters around pea shoots in a pyramid shape (see photo).

7. Divide prosciutto and arrange around focaccia squares.

Photographer Bill Brady

The Year of the Dragon is Here! How About Some Potstickers?

The Year of the Dragon begins January 23.  What would a Chinese New Year celebration be without some hot and spicy pork fried dumplings, aka potstickers?  I’m not talking about those all too familiar doughy lumps one sometimes finds, but crisp and delicate dumplings redolent with fresh Chinese flavors.  Served alongside a garlicky dipping sauce, they will have your guests craving more.  Not to worry.  Here is a recipe, complete with filling and pleating direction to make a batch of 50.

Ready for frying
Ready to eat


1 pound ground pork (approx. 80 % lean, 20% fat)

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

1 cup finely chopped water chestnuts

1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well just until combined.  Don’t overmix.

50 to 60 round dumpling wrappers

½ cup chicken broth or water for steaming dumplings

Spicy Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chile paste such as Sambal Oelek*

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and serve with potstickers.

*Add another ½ teaspoon if you like it very spicy.

Forming the Potstickers

Buy a package of round dumpling wrappers.* Keep the wrappers covered with a cloth as you work to prevent them from drying out.  Fill them as follows:

Place about 1 ½ to 2 level teaspoons of filling in the center of the dough in a slightly oval shape.  With your finger, very lightly smear a dab of water around the edge of the top half of the wrapper.

Bring up the edges of the dough and pinch together firmly in the center, forming a filled crescent.  Leave each end open.

Make a pleat on the side facing you.

Gather up the balance of the dough on the side away from you, pleating toward the center in 3 or 4 pleats.

Do the same with the other end, pleating toward the center.  This method of sealing the dumpling gives it a broad bottom.

As each dumpling is finished, place it on a lightly floured board and cover with a cloth to prevent drying out.

When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil in a 10 or 11 inch skillet with a tight fitting lid..  When it is hot add the dumplings, bottom side down.  Don’t crowd the dumplings.  You may have to cook them in two batches or use two skillets.  Cover and cook about 2 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.  Pour ½ cup chicken broth or water all around the dumplings and cover as tightly as possible with the lid.

Cook over medium high heat until the water almost boils away, about 3 minutes, then turn the heat to low.  After about 9 minutes’ total cooking time, potstickers should be done.  If not yet well browned, turn the heat to high briefly.  Watch them closely and do not let them burn.

Transfer the dumplings from the skillet bottom side up onto a serving platter.  Serve spicy dipping sauce on the side.  Yield: about 50 dumplings

*Dumpling wrappers and other ingredients may be purchased at Asian supermarkets and at other well stocked supermarkets.

Photos by sweetpaprika

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