Deconstructed Mediterannean Pork Pepper Poppers

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We took the three main components of jalapeño poppers—jalapeños, bacon and cream cheese—and deconstructed them to make this addictive, bite-sized app. Soak your toothpicks as the pork marinates so they won’t flare up on the grill.


YIELD 6–8 servings
ZEST FACTOR
Medium
PREP TIME 40 minutes
COOK TIME
15 minutes

2      tablespoons olive oil
1      tablespoon red wine vinegar
½    lemon, juiced
3      garlic cloves, minced
½    teaspoon ground cayenne
½    teaspoon paprika
½    teaspoon dried oregano
½    teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
½    pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
4     jalapeños, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
½    onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
4      ounces cream cheese, softened
6      bacon slices, cut into thirds

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Add the pork and stir to evenly coat. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat one side of the grill to medium-high and leave the other side off for indirect cooking.
3. Assemble the poppers by smearing cream cheese on 1 piece jalapeño. Add 1 piece pork and sandwich with 1
piece onion, then wrap the whole thing with 1 piece bacon. Secure with a soaked toothpick. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
4. Grill the poppers over direct heat for about 5–6 minutes, turning them halfway through. Move to indirect heat and cook for another 8–10 minutes, until the pork and bacon are cooked. Serve hot.

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