Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grilled crab and cream cheese stuffed peppers

Beatrice brought some store bought stuffed chiles over a couple of weeks ago to throw on the grill and maaaaaan, they were good!  My problem with pre-made stuff from the store is that they don't even have to supply nutrition information so you never know what they throw in there. When something is stuffed with cream cheese and/or refuses to put numbers on the fat and calorie levels, you must assume the worst.....and that is: that they probably used full fat everything and then injected it with lard to make it taste like a little slice of heaven.  After all, they want people to keep buying them and paying twice what they cost to make so they want to make them as fabtastic as possible.

Here's the deal: the ones I made were just as great and clock in for under 150 calories a piece (you could even do them for 110-120 calories if you want).  Cha-ching! Now I can chow down without the guilt while I'm laying in bed later that night making deals with myself to get up earlier the next morning so I can run another mile or two to work that creamy filling off my tushy (or as Big Dan calls it: my potato ass).

So here's what you need:
4 anaheim peppers (just so you know, these are not hot peppers, more like bell peppers so don't worry if you're not the type to fire down a habanero, you will still love this)
1 container fat free cream cheese
1 cup imitation crab meat
4 pieces bacon (I used real this time because we had some in the fridge but if you want to cut down to the 110-120 range I mentioned above, you can use turkey bacon like I will in the future)
8 toothpicks to hold these rigs together

Start by cutting a slit in each pepper, not huge but enough to be able to stuff the filling in there with a spoon after it's mixed up. 

Then you have to use a spoon or some sort of utensil to scoop all the seeds and the white innards out of the inside of the pepper.  After you have all of these cut open and cleaned out, you will need to dice up the part of the pepper that you cut out and add it to a small mixing bowl (we don't waste much around our house). In that mixing bowl, add the container of cream cheese as well as the crab meat (torn up into small pieces).  Proceed to fill the peppers with the crab stuffing after it is well mixed....

Wrap those babies in a slice of bacon each and secure with one toothpick at the top and one toothpick at the bottom like so...

Like I said, I used full fat bacon this time which means there will be grease dripping down into your grill and making the flames jump up.  This could burn the peppers so keep an eye on them.  You also cannot flip these over or the filling will melt out into your grill, so you have to cook them slower on a higher rack that's not right on the flame or else the bottom will burn while the top isn't done.  I would say they took about 15 minutes of actual grilling time once they are prepared.  This was our Sunday dinner so the rest of the meal was a cheat meal...filet or me, ribeye for Justin, and mac and cheese :)

If you like your bacon a little more done than that, you could cook it partially in a pan before throwing it around the peppers as well....this was perfect for us.  Go ahead and click on that picture to enlarge it...makes me drool every time!

These couldn't have come out better! The filling makes 4 large peppers perfectly but we each ate only one since we had so much other food.  I hid the extra two in the back of the fridge so that Justin doesn't eat them for lunch today....out of sight, out of mind, right? Fingers crossed he doesn't read this today...enjoy!

EDIT:  I made these for father's day this weekend as well.  The problem was that I needed 6 peppers instead of 4 so didn't want to double the stuffing recipe but didn't want to run out.  Sooooo I added a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with habaneros to the stuffing mixture.  Wowza!  They were good but packed a lot of heat...so if you love heat, give that a shot.  If not, I would suggest using a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles instead of the habanero variety.  Not as much heat, but still adds something to the filling to have the tomatoes in there, and allows you to prepare more peppers with just one more can of goods.  Here are the HOT peppers....

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