Posts Tagged ‘appetizers’

10th April
written by Loren

I found these little beauties in the olive bar at the local Bylery’s. For the non-Minnesotans out there, Byerly’s is an upscale grocery store, kind of like a whole foods but without the commitment to natural/organic food. The kind of place your grandmother shops at, as long as her IRA is well funded. Anyways, I was looking for some olives and the helpful lady behind the counter suggested I try these flaming red beasties from South Africa. I popped one in my mouth and knew pretty much instantly that they were going to become a recurring item in my cooking. The taste starts out sweet and a little fruity, sort of like a red bell pepper. The next thing you taste is the vinegar from the pickling brine, and finally that heat from the chili pepper. The peppadew variety of chili peppers weigh in around 1,200 scoville units, so they have some heat to them but are not as hot as something like a jalapeno. I would definitely serve them confidently to my mother, but maybe not my grandmother, if that’s a useful guide.

While I will definitely be thinking up more uses for the peppadews, the first thing I went for is stuffing them. Really, I think that is a natural first thought when you look at the peppers. They’re about the size of a cherry tomato, but completely hollow, with a little hole in the top. Tell me that’s not made to stuff with garlicky cheesy goodness? *Editors note:Upon further review, this is definitely everyone’s first idea of what to do with peppadews. Seriously, do a google image search for peppadew peppers and see what I mean.

The cheese stuffing for these was based on the stuffing for the oven baked jalapeno poppers from a previous post with a few modifications. First, nix the bacon. I’ll give you a second to wrap your mind around that. Seriously though, not everything needs bacon in it, and on this particular night we were also grilling so we could get that great smoky flavor in another course. Next, it needs to be a little thinner as a mixture so you can easily pipe the mixture into the peppers. To that end, I added a little bit of milk and olive oil.

  • 4 oz. (1/2 brick) cream cheese, room temp
  • ~5 oz. (1 log) goat cheese, any kind you like
  • 2 cloves garlic, pasted
  • 1 tbsp minced herbs (basil, oregano, chives, and tarragon are all good choices)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp milk, added as needed to thin out the mixture

Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl, then use a rubber spatula to scoop all of it into a bag you can use to pipe it into the peppers. For our more bourgeois readers, you have a pastry bag with your choice of piping tips. For the rest of us, grab a ziploc bag and snip off one of the corners. Be sure to start out with a small hole in the bag; you can always make it a bit bigger but you can’t make it any smaller and it is a pain to try to take the cheese mixture from one bag to another.

Pipe the mixture into the peppers, then figure out how you want to serve them. They would be just fine by themselves I think, but this time I served them with some hot capocollo which was a nice compliment. Next time I think I’m going to slice out some ribbons of pruscutto and wrap those around the peppers.