The name of this recipe is a mouthful but it is as well. An irresistible tangy, smoky, slightly spicy, creamy mouthful that warrants every ingredient being called out for it is their unison which creates pure perfection! I did not mention the cream cheese in the recipe title but we’ll get to that.
Similar to the Mesquite-Smoked Jalapeno Cheese Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs shared over the weekend, these delectable peppers are cooked through smoking alone. In fact they were cooked alongside those hotdogs and easily can be made together for they smoke in the same amount of time.
Anaheim chile peppers are larger peppers (long and skinny) making them prime candidates for stuffing. They are only mildly spicy so a great choice for a mixed crowd where everyone will not love some spicy heat in their food. They have the distinct flavor of green chilies found in cans or many Mexican and Southwestern dishes. Because the sizes of the peppers may vary, the amount of blue cheese may also need to vary. I started with a tub of blue cheese crumbles with was plenty.
This recipe to me is an affirmation that a few special ingredients is often all that is needed to make a truly memorable dish. The Anaheim chilies are slit lengthwise and the seeds gently scraped out with the end of a dinner knife (nothing sharp). An ounce of cream cheese is swiped inside and then the peppers are filled with blue cheese. Bacon slices (2 slices for a normal 6-8 inch pepper) are wound around and toothpicked in place then the peppers are smoked on the grill over indirect heat. Due to the size of the pepper I recommend slicing them into 1-inch segments when they are done for serving, perhaps with toothpicks. They absolutely are my new favorite grilled appetizer without a doubt!
Smoked Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Chile Peppers
- 3 large fresh Anaheim Chile Peppers
- 3 ounces of Cream Cheese , softened
- 1 6- ounce tub Blue Cheese crumbles
- 9 slices of Thick Bacon
- Wooden Toothpicks (approximately 4 per chile pepper)
- Mesquite wood chips
- Foil drip pan to fit under the grate OR a homemade drip pan made from heavy duty foil
Heat the gas grill to high until the grill temperature gauge registers temperature to 300 degrees.
Preparing the stuffed peppers:
Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut the length of chile pepper on the top side only (do not cut all the way through). Using a dining knife (not sharp), gently scrape out all the seeds and any excess membrane. Still using the dining knife, smear one ounce of the softened cream cheese in each of the three peppers. Using your fingers fill the pepper with blue cheese crumbles.
Wrapping the chile peppers with bacon:
Hold one end of a piece of bacon across the end of the chile pepper closest to the stem. Secure the bacon by inserting a toothpick through the end of the bacon through the chile pepper and through the bacon on the opposite side of the chile pepper (refer to photos). Holding the bacon strip taut, wrap the bacon slice around the chile pepper, slightly overlapping the prior wrap to cover. Insert toothpicks to secure as needed (approximately 4 per chile pepper). Depending on the size of the chile pepper, 2-3 pieces of bacon will be needed.
Once the grill is at temperature, turn off all burners except one on the outside of the grill (based on a 4 burner grill). Clean the side of the grill with burners off with a wire brush. On this same side, carefully lift the hot grate with grill tools and deposit the drip pan underneath the clean grate. Rub the grate with oil and a folded paper towel.
Place a piece of heavy duty foil over the ignited burner and add a few handfuls of mesquite wood chip on top of the foil. Once the chips begin to smoke, add the prepared hot dogs to the clean, oiled grill (with burners of) and close the grill. Check the grill periodically, ensuring a 300 degree temperature and adding more mesquite chips as needed to keep the smoke going. The stuffed peppers will be cooked in 25-30 minutes and will have a golden hue as well as the bacon will become hard (not crisp in the traditionally way). Allow to cool slightly before slicing into 1-inch lengths across the pepper. Serve warm.