Cooking Connection is a Journal-World feature that prints favorite reader recipes. This week's featured cook is Monique Heriford of Lawrence, with her recipe for cream cheese stuffed peppers.
Why it's special: "This recipe came about to use up peppers my Dad grows in his garden. He has a huge garden - more than he and my mom could possible eat. So instead of letting the peppers go to waste or give them away I came up with this recipe a couple of years ago, and my family and friends have been enjoying it ever since."
Cream cheese stuffed peppers
15-20 peppers (I usually use some jalapenos and banana)
1 package cream cheese
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely diced
Dash of salt and pepper
6-8 pieces of bacon fried and crumbled
1/2 cup or more smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
For the banana peppers, keep the pepper whole and just cut out an opening on the side big enough to clean out the seeds. For the jalapenos, just cut the top off and clean out the seeds as we have a pepper griller that holds the pepper vertically while grilling. If you don't have a pepper griller, cut the jalapeno in half and clean out the seeds that way.
Then, put the peppers in a bowl and cover them with milk and let them soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. This removes the majority of the heat.
Cream Cheese Mix:
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for a little bit just to make it easier to stir in the other ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together and stuff the peppers. I find it easiest to make a piping bag out of a Ziploc bag and pipe the filling into the peppers - so the more finely chopped the onion, garlic and bacon, the easier it is to stuff. After the peppers are stuffed, I top with a little more shredded cheese.
To grill: If you have a pepper griller place the jalapenos in it, if not just place the banana peppers and jalapenos flat on a cookie sheet that has been covered with tin foil and some nonstick spray. Grill at 250 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the peppers are soft.