Sausage-Stuffed Jalapenos with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
For the jalapenos: Makes 24 appetizers
12 jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise, remove seeds and ribs (or keep some in for more spice)
1/2 lb pork sausage
1 small onion, finely diced
6 slices of bacon (see note in step 4)
For the sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
dash of salt to taste
1. In a medium skillet, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces. Add onion and continue to cook until softened. Transfer pork to a food processor and pulse until it forms a fine mixture.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a rack on a baking sheet.
3. Using a spoon, scoop the sausage into the peppers, pressing with the back of the spoon to pack the meat inside. Repeat with remaining peppers.
4. Prepare bacon: Cut the bacon in half crosswise, then carefully cut each piece of bacon in half lengthwise to make skinnier pieces. (If you're bacon is already thinly sliced out of the package, you will need to skip this step and instead use 12 slices of bacon cut in half crosswise.)
5. Wrap each jalapeno with a piece of bacon and skewer with a toothpick to hold it in place and put on wire rack. Repeat with all the jalapenos.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes until peppers are tender and bacon is cooked. For crispier bacon, place peppers under the broiler for a few minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
7. To make sauce: whisk together mayonnaise, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, honey, pepper and salt. Serve on the side or spooned on top of each jalapeno.