JAMIE PROTICH / THE MAD PLATTER
12 whole fresh jalapenos, 2-3 inches in size
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
1-2 tablespoons your choice of fresh herbs, chopped
1 pound bacon, sliced into thirds
If you have them, slip on latex gloves for the pepper prep... Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT).
Mix chopped herbs with goat cheese. Smear softened goat cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle.
Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don't want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn't look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.
Serve immediately, or they're also great at room temperature.