Jalapeno peppers are a very healthy vegetable. Removing the jalapeno seeds and the inside veins takes away most of the hot taste of the jalapeno, but leaves a wonderful flavor.

Cooking Tip

Jalapeno or other hot peppers, removing seeds & veins – use rubber gloves to handle peppers.  A grapefruit spoon removes the seeds & veins quickly.

6 large, fresh jalapeno peppers


3 string-cheese rolls (mozzarella cheese)

12 strips of sweet red pepper

3 slices bacon, cut into 4 pieces per slice

Natural-color cocktail picks





Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Split each jalapeno pepper in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds & cut out the inside veins & discard.  Wash hands to prevent rubbing jalapeno oil into eyes!  Lightly sprinkle the insides of the jalapenos with salt. Cut the string-cheese in half to fit inside the jalapeno halves.  Fit cheese in the cavity with a red pepper strip on top. Wrap 1 piece of the cut bacon around the jalapeno halves & secure with a cocktail pick or two.  Repeat with all jalapeno halves.  Place the jalapeno halves or “boats” on a spray-oiled cooking pan.  Bake the “boats” for 20 minutes on a middle rack in the oven.  Then broil at 500 degrees on the top oven rack for about 5 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.  Yield: 12 “boats”.

Bacon-wrapped anything is good – rocks, kudzu, seaweed, sawgrass.  Such foolishness… But bacon–wrapping always adds great flavor.

In this quaint, picturesque tiny town of Vernazza, Italy we were served mussels from the Ligurian Sea wrapped in Italian bacon.  The town is in the Cinque Terre area of Italy on the Ligurian Sea.  It has a small harbor and beach area; then the buildings gradually climb from the sea to the mountainsides covered with grape vineyards.  It makes you feel like you are part of a magnificent post card - surely this breath-taking town could not be real?  One evening we dined at a restaurant on the top of the highest building on the edge of the sea.  In late afternoon, we went there to enjoy the exquisite sunset over the sea and were served an appetizer of bacon-wrapped mussels with Italian wine.
We had requested a particular table earlier in the day, which was located on the very outside edge of the terrace closest to the sea.  Joe, of course, is not nearly as picky as I am about restaurant table location.  I like to think that I am “ambiance-oriented”. (That statement will definitely amuse my family & friends!)  Well, I got what I wanted;         but …our table was so close to the dining terrace edge and slanted downward from decades of settling that, we had to occasionally pull our table and chairs away from the terrace fence.  We were a little concerned that we, too, would end up in the Ligurian Sea!
Surely Joe is more patient with me than even Job would have been.  Should we call him St. Joseph of Vernazza?


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