What’s Cookin’ – Texas Rockets

Those who know me and those who follow my blog, know that I love peppers – especially jalapeño peppers.  I talk about that here.

Jalapeño jelly and candied jalapeños (aka Cowboy Candy).

Jalapeños.  I grow ’em in my garden.  I love ’em fresh.  I love the chilis in adobo sauce which are smoked jalapeños.  I make homemade salsa with jalapeños, jalapeño poppers, jalapeño jelly, and candied jalapeños (Cowboy Candy).  I use ’em to make Cheddar Cheese Bread with jalapeños.

So when I saw this post for Texas Rockets on BlogHer, I knew I would be making ’em for my family.

Hey, we lived in Texas for 26 months, but I never heard of them before I saw this article.  Texas Rockets are a lot like jalapeño poppers, but they are made with an entire pepper.  There are several recipes out there, and they all call for the cream cheese to be mixed with chicken marinated in Italian dressing.

Texas Rockets ready to cook.

You can see the step-by-step posted by Mandi on her website / blog My Perfect Mess.

Here is what I did.  I made a double batch, and I used the jalapeños from my garden which are medium sized (two-bite size) and a single batch of filling was enough to fill 20 peppers.  I also used canned white meat chicken breast which I find shreds really nicely.  Each pepper took about 2/3rds of a piece of bacon.  I love hickory smoked bacon and buy it in bulk packages from our local Sam’s Club.  That’s what I used for these.  I had another use for the scraps of bacon so it was all good.  I decided to bake half and grill half.

Baked Texas Rockets.

I baked half of of the Texas Rockets in a 275° F oven until the bacon was crispy.  This took about 1½ hours.

Baked Texas Rockets ready to eat.

This is what they looked like baked.  These are quite a mouthful, and you do need to let them cool a little before eating.  This is the voice of experience speaking.  Oh, and tell people about the toothpicks, too.

Grilled Texas Rockets ready to eat.

The grilled Texas Rockets took about 25 minutes exactly as described in the recipe.  The biggest difference is that the grilled version lost a lot of the filling.  My dear, sweet hubby did the grilling so I’m not sure why this happened because hardly any filling came out on the baked ones.

My taste testers all agreed that both versions were good, but the grilled ones tasted better.  There was just something about the smokiness of the grill and the bacon getting just a little bit crispier.

I’ll be experimenting in the days ahead as my pepper plants continue to explode with jalapeños - one of the few things in my garden that survived and thrived in this horribly hot summer we have had.  There are many possibilities with stuffing jalapeños this way.  I think I am going to try to omit the Italian dressing and perhaps add a little sharp cheddar to the cream cheese next time.  Your suggestions are welcome!

Texas Rockets – try ’em, you’ll like ’em.  Yummy.

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