Everytime I have (or am attending) a house party I always make up a batch of these. They’re a wee bit footery, but they’re ridiculously simple and the happy faces of your guests will more than make up for the time you’ve spent fiddling in the kitchen. Every time I make them I usually estimate how many I will need, then double that. There is never any left over usually, as people go utterly gaga for these. If there are some leftover, they’re just as tasty when they’re cold.
They’re pretty popular on the American BBQ circuit, where they’re known as ABT’s or (Atomic Buffalo Turds. Pleasant!) I like to think of them as a manlier version of kilted sausages (or pigs in blankets).
Aside from that, it’s basically the same but here’s what you need.
- Mixed chillis: I usually just pick up a few packets from the supermarket
- Soft/cream cheese
- Smoked bacon
That’s it. I tried fiddling with the recipe a few times. Once I made two batches, one with cheddar mixed in with the soft cheese and one without and it made no difference. Another time I used garlic and herb cream cheese, but again it made no discernable difference. The other flavours are happy to take the lead.
One thing that surprises people is that they’re generally not actually that spicy. There is a bit of a tingle to them, but they won’t have you running for a glass of milk like the Kismot Killer or coughing like you’ve taken a spoonful of Papa Djabs Hot Sauce. Unless you accidentally buy hot ones instead of mild.
First take your chillis and lie them on a chopping board. Big chillis are best for this, so try to avoid choosing small ones or long, thin ones. Jalapenos would be perfect but fresh ones can be difficult to come by here in Edinburgh.
Cut them in half lengthways, so that they resemble little canoes.
Once you’ve cut them, take a teaspoon and remove the seeds and membranes. This would be a good time to wear gloves: especially if you have contact lenses to take out later, or if it’s your time of the month. Touching sensitive body parts with chilli fingers is no fun.
Keep an empty plastic bag handy for all of the bits. As well as being spicy buggers, chilli seeds are a nightmare to clean up.
Next, take your cream cheese and smear it inside the chilli. You can spread it in til it’s flush, but I like to keep going so that it’s overflowing a bit. The cream cheese will cool the heat of the chilli so the more cheese the better as far as I’m concerned.
When they’re all bursting at the seams with creamy goodness, take another board and lay a slice of bacon on it. Flatten it out with the blunt side of your knife: this will make it a bit thinner and easier to wrap. Then cut it into 4 pieces.
Lay your chilli cream cheese side down on a piece of bacon, and wrap it round so that the seam is at the bottom. Basically the opposite of this picture. You can seal it with a toothpick if you’re fancy, or if you’re me just place it seam side down (cheese side up) on a baking tray.
Pop them in the oven at 200 degrees for around 20 minutes, or until your bacon is crispy. I usually like to blast them under the grill for the last few minutes to crisp them up a bit.
Put them on a plate, and watch them disappear. Serve with a glass of cava and good company.
Happy New Year!