Venison Pepper Poppers

I’ve made a variation of this recipe with everything from leftover fish to boar sausage, and it never fails to impress. If your DNA has you predisposed to eating really hot stuff, try it with hotter peppers such as habaneros. The recipe specifies cooked ground venison, but it also works well with slow-cooked, pulled meat from roasts. It’s also a way to make good use of leftover cooked venison.

Pepper Poppers

Yield: 6 appetizer servings

Ingredients

  • 18 fresh jalapenos or small sweet peppers
  • 1 cup cooked ground venison
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, minced
  • 2/3 cup shredded jack cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • pinch or two of salt

Instructions

  1. Place peppers on a baking sheet in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool. This will soften the peppers and make them easier to work with before stuffing. Leave the oven on 375 degrees.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make a slit in each pepper from stem to tip, and carefully scoop out seeds.
  3. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stuff into peppers. Don't worry if the peppers split a little. They will "seal" up when baking. Place on the same baking sheet, split side up, and place in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Allow the peppers to rest a few minutes after removing from the oven so that they will firm up before serving.

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