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posted: 10/9/2013 6:05 AM

Halftime Bacon Beet Bites and Hail Mary Jalapeño Poppers

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  • Jeff Zilch created two types of game day snacks using beets, turkey, havarti cheese and jalapeños.

      Jeff Zilch created two types of game day snacks using beets, turkey, havarti cheese and jalapeños.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer


Halftime Bacon Beet Bites

12 small to medium beets

2 cups cubed havarti cheese

¼ cup chopped cilantro

½ pound sliced bacon

4-6 jalapeños sliced into coins


Hail Mary Jalapeno Poppers

12-15 jalapeño peppers

½ cup havarti cheese

3 pinches lemon zest

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

3 teaspoons buffalo wing sauce (such as Frank's)

Dash of salt and pepper

1 cup diced cooked turkey (reserved from Touchdown Turkey Legs)

½ cup diced raw beet (from Bacon Beet Bites)

½ pound sliced bacon

For the beet bites: Prepare the beets by chopping off the greens but leave 2 inches of the stalk on top; this will act as a handle. Peel off the outer skin and cut the beet in half so each half has some stalk. Next use a melon baller and scoop out the center of the beets. Save the center as they are used with the poppers.

Place a bit of cheese and a sprinkle of cilantro in each beet. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap around each beet and secure it with a tooth pick; garnish with a jalapeño coin. Transfer the beets to a disposable aluminum pan and pour a little beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Heat grill to medium high. Place pan on grates and cook 20 minutes. Then take them out of the pan and sear them on the grill turning frequently until the bacon has a decent crisp. Remove and serve.

For the poppers: Cut the jalapeño lengthwise but only to the stem. This will help keep it together after being stuffed. Remove the seeds, or leave them in if you want more heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, lemon zest, garlic, blue cheese, wing sauce, salt and pepper, turkey and beets; mix well. Stuff the mixture into the peppers. Cut the bacon slices in half and wrap a piece of bacon around the pepper to keep it together and stick with a toothpick.

Grill on medium high indirect heat turning every 5 minutes or so. Within 15 minutes you will see the peppers begin to soften and then place on direct heat to crisp up the bacon and char the pepper a bit. Remove and enjoy.

Serves seven to 10.

Jeff Zilch

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