Dove Jalapeño Poppers with Lemon, Honey, & Cilantro Cream Cheese
This dove season, try an alternative take on the tried a tried and true dove jalapeño popper. We "gourmet-ed" it up a little by opting for a lemon, honey, & cilantro cream cheese with sautéed shallots.
Using the Tuscan Grill in the wood fired oven allowed us to get a smokier flavor from the bacon and a nice crust on the cream cheese. If you don't have a pizza oven, don't fret. You can still use the grill or even a conventional oven to enjoy your birds.
(Makes 20 jalapeño poppers)
For the Cream Cheese Mixture
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
8 ounces cream cheese
For the Poppers
10 jalapeño peppers
10 pairs of dove breasts, removed from the bone
10 strips of bacon
Cream Cheese Mixture
Pour the olive oil into a small pan and heat it over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the shallot and sauté for about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool when done.
Add the olive oil, shallot, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, and honey into a food processor and blend well. Next, add the cream cheese to the food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Note: You can make the cream cheese mixture ahead of time and cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 days in advance. This works out great before you head out to the field to hunt!
Halve each jalapeño pepper length wise and deseed the peppers with a paring knife. To avoid burning eyes, be sure to wear gloves.
Salt and pepper both sides of the dove breasts.
Dole out 1 heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the crevasse of each jalapeño half. Then, place a dove breast on top of each jalapeño.
Next, cut each piece of bacon in half and wrap it round each jalapeño popper. Keep the bacon in place by piercing the popper with a tooth pick.
Light the wood fired oven and let the coals burn down to create a Grilling Oven environment. Oil the grates of your Tuscan grill or a grill rack and slide it into the oven. Once it is heated, place the poppers on the Tuscan grill or grill rack and bake for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is done. Serve warm.
Alternatively, you can grill the poppers on a traditional grill or bake them in a conventional oven. If you use a conventional oven, bake them at 450°F for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through. If you use the grill, cook them until the bacon is done. Try and avoid flipping the poppers if you can by keeping the lid shut.