Timing and coincidence are often combined and observed as inspiration. Over the summer we have been lucky enough to enjoy more than our share of bacon wrapped, cream cheese stuffed jalapenos. These torturously addictive snacks have broken beyond their snack food place in our diet. Aki has taken these delights and used them to top a pizza. I have wanted to wrap a shrimp in with the jalapeño and cream cheese, an idea, which has yet to come to fruition.
Finally, after a phone call with our friend Doron about fritters, particularly Reuben fritters, it dawned on me. Why not make bacon wrapped, creamed cheese stuffed jalapeno fritters? And so we did. We broiled the jalapenos first for the roasted charred flavor and then scraped out the seeds. We chopped up some bacon and salt pork and cooked it down till it was just softer than crispy and then we added some diced onion (not in the original combination, though a welcome addition) which we cooked till tender in the pork fat. When the onions were tender we added the charred jalapenos, which we had roughly chopped. When this base mixture was complete, we drained off the excess fat and let it cool. Once the base, which has many more uses than just fritters: pasta sauce, in a zucchini and tomato gratin, as a relish for pan roasted lobster, was cool we folded in cream cheese.
Once the base was finished, Aki added some flour and egg and a Harpoon IPA. It took a bit of tweaking on her part, and the batter came together and fried up beautifully. The crispy golden fritter exterior gave way to the cream cheese laden center with spikes of jalapeno, bacon and onion. While with the original each stuffed jalapeno was a gamble with how hot or not it was, these fritters provide that cautionary hesitation with each addictive bite.