Jalapeno Popper Pull Apart Bread

By on April 7, 2014
By Michelle Love, Staff Writer; Art by Daniel Twieg/Photo Editor

Guys, let’s talk appetizers. I don’t think I’m over selling them when I say that they’re probably the best part of a meal.

Whoever looked at their dinner for the night and said, “You know what I need with this steak? Little crackers with cheese on them,” was a freaking genius.

Most of the time when I go out the appetizers look more appetizing than the entrees themselves.

It’s a common practice in Japanese culture to make a meal out of appetizers (I can vouch for this since I worked in a Japanese restaurant for three years). I think that this should become part of the American tradition!

There’s nothing wrong with gorging yourself on fried oysters, mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and bread! Who’s with me?! *speaking out of the corner of my own mouth* We are, Michelle!

Okay so, maybe it’s best to not eat all of the fried/greasy/carby foods at once. Maybe your heart can’t take it or maybe you don’t want to die. Whatever, it’s your life.

Maybe we should all just stick to the bread that comes at the beginning of the meal. Ah, the bread. Bread is one of the best creations in the world. You can make sandwiches with it, rolls, toast, or just eat it right out of the bag (something Mindy Kahling and I have a lot in common).

Bread makes some of the best appetizers and hors d’ouvres that you can imagine and it should never be ignored. Now some of you might be confused because I usually try and stay along the healthy side of the tracks.

Well, reader, sometimes you have to answer the call of the siren. That beautiful siren whose song rings through the restaurant like a bell. Bread, man. Bread.

Recently I was mumbling through my boring day while searching for a recipe that peaked my interest. I quickly found a recipe that combined my love of bread and one of my favorite appetizers in existence. Jalapeno Popper Pull Apart Bread. Yeah, your taste buds DID just do a dance of happiness.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 16-ounce loaf of round sour dough bread unsliced
  • 1 8-ounce pack of cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of pickled jalapeno pepper juice (you can get this from the jar when you buy pickled jalapeno peppers. Don’t worry reader I don’t expect you to ring out a jalapeno pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • as many jalapeno rings as you want (GO NUTS!!)
  • 3 TABLESPOONS OF BACON BITS (I forgot to turn off caps lock…)
  • 1 cup of shredded jalapeno jack cheese

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a sharp bread knife and cut the loaf of bread to the middle in a checkered pattern. Don’t cut the bread all the way to the bottom!

Next, mix together your softened cream cheese, jalapeno juice, and garlic powder until thoroughly combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture in between the cuts and make sure it gets good helpings in each crack.

Then sprinkle the loaf of bread with the jalapeno slices and the bacon bits while making sure that the peppers and the bacon get inside the bread as well.

Then top the bread with the shredded cheese (do not skimp on the cheese!).

Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake the bread for 15 minutes and then remove the aluminum foil.

Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

This appetizer is so delicious that you’ll need to make two so everyone can have some because, trust me, even though you tell yourself you’ll only have two maybe three pull aparts, you’ll find yourself eating half and apologizing to your guests for eating the food meant for them. Happy Eating!!

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