Stuffed Chile Bites

I remember so many New Year’s Eve nights spent at home with my parents.  We watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, drank sparkling grape juice and ate finger foods.  Usually there were veggies and ranch dip, crackers with summer sausage and cheese and maybe even little smokies in bbq sauce.  It was more about fun than fancy, but it is one of the only times I remember my mom making appetizers.  My appetizer repertoire is similarly limited.  So, when I organized a mom’s night out this month that included a best dish competition, I’m not really sure why I decided the food categories should be appetizers and desserts.  I agonized for days over what I would bring.  Then, I remembered on of my husband’s favorite things.  In fact, we usually serve this up with a salad and eat it as a meal, but it makes a fantastic appetizer.

Start by roasting the chiles in your broiler.  You can certainly use a grill for all of this, but I was too lazy to stoke up the charcoal in the cold.  Alas, these are not New Mexico green chiles, they are Aneheims.  New Mexicos are out of season and I find frozen chiles just don’t work as well for this as fresh.  You could also use Poblanos.

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When the chile skins are nice and browned, take the chiles out of the broiler and toss them in a tightly sealed  plastic bag.  This allows the heat to steam the chiles while they are cooling and makes the skins even easier to remove.  Peel the chiles.  Make an opening down one side to remove the seeds and ribs.  Then, slice cheese into long sticks about 1/4″x1/4″x4-6″ (I use half a block and cut 4 equal sized sticks the length of the block).  Divide the sausage into 4 equal parts and wrap one part of sausage around each stick of cheese.  Try to make sure you cover the cheese completely.

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Stuff each piece of sausage covered cheese into a chile and wrap with bacon.  Stretch the slice of bacon as you wrap to keep it tight and to make sure you only use 1 slice of bacon per chile.

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Bake (or grill) until sausage is cooked through and bacon crisps.  I find the bacon gets much crispier on the grill than it does in the oven.  And yes,  I did wash that cutting board with hot soapy water while the chiles were cooking.

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Let these cool for a few minutes so the cheese will set.  Then use a sharp knife to slice them into 1/4″-1/2″ rounds.  Serve warm.

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Recipe:

4 large Aneheim chiles

1/2 pound ground sausage (breakfast or Italian)

1/2 pound sharp chedder cheese

4 slices bacon

Roast chiles under the broiler until skins are bubbly and brown.  Remove chiles from broiler. Place in a tightly sealed plastic bag to cool.  When chiles are completely cooled, remove the peels and the seeds leaving as much of the chile intact as possible.

Heat oven to 350*.

Slice cheese into 4 equal sized sticks about as long as the chiles.  Divide sausage into 4 equal parts.  Wrap each stick of cheese with one part of the sausage.  Stuff sausage wrapped cheese into the peeled, seeded chile.  Wrap each chile with a slice of bacon, slightly stretching each bacon slice as you wrap.

Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and bacon starts to crisp.

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