Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños Stuffed with Cilantro Lime Cauli Mash

A spicy, creamy dreamy-- CHEESE FREE-- delight!

When I was still back home in Indiana with my family, I would host an "Annual Epps Cookie Party" every Christmas. It was a classy soiree. My home would be decked out with fresh greenery, shiny ornaments, candles, twinkle lights, and a fire burning in the fireplace. We'd have about 20 people over to exchange cookie delights, and enjoy one another's company. Although I only did it for about 7 years, it has become one of my fondest Christmas memories. It was an opportunity for me to do the work so my family and friends could sit back and enjoy all the things we love about Christmas, and it was a way to get everyone into the holiday baking spirit! One year, a bachelor friend even showed up with some "homemade" cookies! OK...he bought the dough, but he gets mad props for the effort!

I would, of course, create a spread of delicious savory appetizers to offset all the sugary goodness we'd consume throughout the evening. You know how it goes-- eat something salty and drink something bubbly after you devour 5 cookies so you can return to the cookie table for another go 'round. It's always a good holiday party strategy.

Unfortunately, since we are temporarily in an apartment this year trying to settle into a new city, a cookie party with our family and new friends wasn't going to happen this year; but I'm already looking forward to hosting the Annual Epps Cookie Party next year in our new Carolina home with the new friends we've made!

Although I won't be hosting a large Holiday party this year, I know many of you will be! No party is complete without appetizers...or "appies," as all the cool people who abbreviate everything would say.  This spicy, creamy dreamy appetizer is sure to please everyone, and it helps you keep it Paleo! I mean, no one-- not even standard American dieters-- will turn down something wrapped in bacon, right?

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños Stuffed with Cilantro Lime Cauli Mash (for 12 jalapeños)


12 jalapeños
12 slices of bacon
2 cups steamed cauliflower
2 Tbs heaping of ghee (I use OMghee's brand)
4-5 liquid Tbs coconut/almond milk
Juice 1 lime
1 Tbs dried cilantro (2-3 if fresh)
1 tsp heaping of  Flavor God Everything Spicy seasoning*
Sea salt to taste

*If you do not have Flavor God, use 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, & cumin

For the mash...

Place steamed & well drained cauliflower into a food processor or blender. Add  ghee, lime juice, cilantro and Flavor God (or substitutes seasonings). Start processing. Slowly add milk until you get the creamy consistency you desire. If you need more than recommended amount, add more.
Visual aid for how to slice the jalapeños

To stuff...

Slice the tips with the stem off of 12 jalapeños. Then, slice a little off the jalapeños lengthwise to create an opening and a small "lid." Hollow out the jalapeño with a small paring knife. Stuff each jalapeño. Be careful not to stuff it too full! Place the "lid" back on over the stuffing. Wrap each jalepeño with one slice of bacon.

To bake...

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Place the stuffed and wrapped jalapeños onto a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until bacon has cooked. Remove from oven and place on a plate lined with paper towels to cool. You can also line the cookie sheet with parchment paper, which will help to absorb some of the grease.

Now, serve them to your guests and watch the looks on their faces as they bite into a creamy-- DAIRY FREE-- spicy and satisfying appetizer! I promise, they'll come back for more!


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