Leave it to Guy Fieri to elevate the quarantine snack game! The Food Network personality, who recently partnered with Heluva Good!, may be cooped up inside amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but he’s still able to craft drool-worthy recipes you’ll want to whip up ASAP.
“I always like to have super flavorful snacks on hand while many of us are spending more time at home than usual,” Fieri, 52, said in an interview with Us Weekly on Wednesday, August 17. “One of my go-tos is flavor-packed jalapeño pig poppers. I’m a big spice fan, so I take jalapeños, stuff them with Heluva Good! Jalapeño Cheddar dip or Heluva Good!’s newest flavor, Nacho Queso Supreme, add a little cream cheese, wrap them up in bacon and you’re headed straight to Flavortown.”
The Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host, who created two additional recipes using Heluva Good! products, told Us exclusively that he thinks people will “flip” over his tasty creations. “I think they’re really gonna be excited,” he said.
Given the bold flavor factor in the poppers recipe, it’s no surprise that Fieri revealed that “spices” are his regular pantry staple, especially as he’s been cooking more at home during quarantine. “People go to the big box stores and they buy these huge containers of things that they won’t use that often. They buy a big thing of paprika, a big thing of cayenne, and a big thing of cumin,” he explained. “Spices don’t really last longer than six months in terms of really getting the true flavor out of them, so one of the things I just remind people is to keep the spices flowing, to keep them moving through and not let them sit there and get stagnant.”
The Ohio native, who noted that certain lights can actually weaken spices, added: “Good fresh spices can [elevate] a lot of dishes that weren’t going to be that exciting. When all you’re talking about is chicken and some simple vegetables, having that really good smoked paprika, having that really good cumin or that thyme or whatever, makes all the difference in the world.”
When it comes to cooking in his own home these days, Fieri told Us that his sons with wife Lori Fieri — Hunter, 24, and Ryder, 15 — contribute to the process by being taste-testers for everything. “I’ll make something and they’ll have to give me the real skinny on whether or not they like it or don’t like it,” the Guy’s Grocery Games star explained. “My oldest son, Hunter, is definitely more into cooking than anybody else is in the family besides me.”
Fieri continued: “The deal is, if you don’t do the cooking, you do the dishes, and my son Ryder hates doing the dishes. So, he’s not as enthusiastic, but he does participate.”
Starting on August 25, Fieri will be sharing his fully loaded creations featuring Heluva Good! Dip on his and Heluva Good!’s Instagram channels. Social media users can submit their own dishes for the chance to win a private virtual chat with the Guy’s Ranch Kitchen star, where he’ll share his very own recipe tips. The giveaway runs through September 10.
Scroll down to see Fieri’s jalapeño pig poppers recipe!
Jalapeño Pig Poppers
Makes 20 poppers
For the poppers:
• 20 medium-sized jalapeños
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 20 strips thick-cut bacon
• 12 oz Guy Fieri’s Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
• 1 pineapple
• 3 oz ranch dressing
• 1 tbsp scallions, bias cut
For the filling:
• 12 oz andouille sausage
• 1/2 cup Heluva Good! Jalapeño Cheddar dip
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 lb cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
• 1 tsp granulated garlic
- Prepare the jalapeños: Take the whole jalapeños and toss with a little oil. Then place on a roasting pan and roast in a 400-degree oven for eight minutes to soften. Once roasted, set aside to cool.
- Using the tip of a paring knife, make a small slit down the middle of each jalapeño and gently remove the seeds and ribs and discard. Set peppers aside.
- Prepare bacon: Lay bacon slices flat in a single layer on a roasting pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for five minutes to cook slightly and render some of the fat. Remove from the oven and place on a paper towel to drain.
- For the filling: Cut the andouille sausage up into bite-size pieces then place in a food processor. Pulse until chopped up into small pieces. Place into a skillet with canola oil and cook on medium-high heat for three to five minutes until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and allow to cool completely.
- Place the sausage into a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and add the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix until evenly incorporated.
- Place the mixture into a pastry bag (you can also use a resealable plastic bag with the corner cut off) to stuff the jalapeños. Pipe the filling into each jalapeño so it is filled completely with no air pockets.
- Wrap each jalapeño with a slice of bacon from the top of the jalapeño to the bottom, sealing the pepper and opening completely. Place two poppers together side-by-side and double skewer them so one skewer goes through the tops and one skewer through the bottoms, securing bacon in place. Repeat process with remaining jalapeños.
- Place in the jalapeños in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes so they hold their shape.
- Meanwhile, take the whole pineapple and cut the bottom inch off so it has a flat base and can stand upright. Cut off the skin of the bottom piece and cut pineapple into chunks. (Keep the rest of the pineapple for serving.)
- Place the pineapple chunks in blender with BBQ sauce and purée. Set aside.
- Place the skewered poppers on a clean, oiled grill and cook at a medium temperature to crisp the bacon but not burn.
- Cook for six minutes, until the bacon is crispy, rotating periodically to prevent burning.
- Brush the BBQ sauce on and cook for one more minute until sauce caramelizes.
- Remove the top inch of the pineapple with leaves. Using two hands stick the skewers into the top of the pineapple for a fun way to serve and share.
- Drizzle the poppers with ranch dressing and a little more BBQ sauce. Garnish with scallions.
With reporting by Carly Sloane
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