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Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers and How to Avoid Getting Burned

August 24, 2011

I received more jalapeno peppers from my CSA this summer than I have ever had to deal with in my life.  I’ve chopped up the occasional pepper before for a recipe, never wore gloves (although I heard that it was a good idea), and never had a problem.

So, when I went to chop up about 20 or so jalapenos to put in the freezer for the winter, I didn’t really think about wearing gloves.  My hands tingled a little bit while I was working, but I kept going because I just wanted to get them done.  A few hours later, they started to hurt more and more.  I couldn’t stand to have them touch anything that was even slightly warm.  So I washed some dishes in cold water, and that felt pretty good.  Then I sat with one hand at a time in a cup of ice water and typed with the other while I checked my email.  But the pain kept getting worse. It felt like I got my hand crushed in a car door.

Since I was online, I decided to google jalapeno pepper burns and see if there was anything I could do to make the burning stop.  I didn’t end up finding a cure, but I did find hours worth of entertainment reading all of the stories of jalapeno pepper burns that were far worse than my own (and some interesting ideas of cures to try).  After trying a few of the suggestions (unsuccessfully), I just lay on the couch holding a big bowl of cold water and slept with my right hand in it.  By the time I had to get up for work, the pain was gone, but my fingers were pretty wrinkly.  (The ironic part was that that morning I had taught a cooking class to a group of kids and we discussed all the possible dangers of cooking…well, I missed one.)

Even though it could have been much worse (I wasn’t wearing contacts, for instance), jalapeno burns are something that I would strongly recommend avoiding. Since most of the horror stories I read involved people making this recipe, consider yourself warned.  Some people even claimed that they had been wearing gloves when they chopped up a particularly strong pepper and recommended wearing 3 gloves—2 on the hand that touches the pepper and 1 on the hand that uses the knife.  So that is what I did.

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

12 fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed, halved lengthwise and seeded (wear gloves!!!)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

12 slices bacon, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Add a piece of cream cheese to each jalapeno half. Wrap a half slice of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno half. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until bacon is evenly browned and crisp.

I'm sure you can imagine how amazing these taste, so I don't need to tell you.

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