Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grilled Goat Cheese-Stuffed Gypsy Peppers with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

I've only ever seen gypsy peppers in northern California, but this recipe was so good that I couldn't pass on posting it. Gypsy peppers are smaller and thinner skinned than bell peppers. I think you could probably pull this off with bell peppers (although the author suggests using piquillos and cooking in the oven). I was suspicious of the texture using rice and golden raisins in the mixture, but it worked perfectly and the raisin presence didn't bother me at all. I scaled the recipe down to 4 peppers and accidentally reduced the filling by half and it turned out to be the perfect amount of filling for my peppers.

Two years ago: Strawberry Yogurt Scones
Three years ago: Mini Chocolate Pavlovas with Raspberry Curd

Grilled Goat Cheese-Stuffed Gypsy Peppers with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette (from Big Small Plates)

6 gypsy peppers
3/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cups feta cheese
2 cups cooked rice, chilled
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped mint
Cherry tomato vinaigrette
1 - 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 - 3 tbsp minced basil
1 tbsp minced parsley
3 tbsp rice vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
To finish
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 - 3 tbsp creme fraiche, whisked until smooth

1. To prepare pepper, cut around base of stem like a pumpkin, pull stem out, remove seeds, and keep stem lid. Blanch pepper in boiling water for 60 - 90 seconds. Drain and shock in ice bath. Drain before stuffing.
2. To make stuffing, fit mixture with paddle attachment and beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Crumble in feta and beat until smooth. Mix in rice, raisins, and mint.
3. Divide filling into 6 equal portions. Roll into same shape as peppers. Push into peppers, put tops back on, and set aside.
4. To make vinaigrette, combine cherry tomatoes, basil, and parsley in medium bowl.
5. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk in oil and pour over tomatoes and herbs. Mix gently.
6. Grill peppers over medium high flame until caramelized on all sides.
7. To serve, place a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette on each plate. Top with stuffed pepper, sprinkle with almonds, and drizzle with creme fraiche.

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