Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tasty Treats

It's always a treat to sit outside with our neighbors, Fran and Ron, enjoying a pitcher of their superb Bloody Marys. Here's their recipe, if you'd like to mix-up a pitcher of your own.

1 part Vodka
3 parts Mr. T's Bold and Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
Dash of Tabasco Sauce

In each glass add ice, a wedge of lime, and a Jalapeno stuffed olive.

Fran and Ron are always preparing something tasty to share. When stuffed Jalapenos were first offered, it took several reassurances that they weren't hot to get me to try one.  They are now one of my favorite treats! There are a variety of recipes for stuffed Jalapenos on the Internet. Fran uses a mix of cream cheese and garlic which is excellent. Other recipes call for cream cheese with the addition of other cheeses, bacon, or sausage. I prefer the Jalapenos cut in half rather than stuffed whole, as more of a blend of the flavors comes through. The trick to taking the hot out of Jalapenos is the removal of the seeds and membranes they attach to. Some recipes suggest wearing gloves for this part of the preparation, so as not to transfer the hot Jalapeno juice accidentally to one's face. Here is a basic recipe to try. You'll look and feel so brave eating them!

Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

Prep Time: 25 Cook Time: 20 Ready In: 45

• 1 pound ground pork sausage
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• 1 pound large fresh Jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
• 1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch dressing (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Place sausage in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain grease.
3. In a bowl, mix the sausage, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Spoon about 1 tablespoon sausage mixture into each Jalapeno half. Arrange stuffed halves in baking dishes.
4. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve with Ranch dressing.