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Goat Cheese Stuffed Baby Peppers

Goat Cheese Stuffed Baby Peppers by The Culinary ChaseYou’re walking past the produce section of your local grocery store and a bag of sweet baby peppers catch your eye. You look at their pretty rainbow colors, think about what you could them, and then decide they’ll spoil before you can use them. It’s a usual scenario for me especially when I’m preparing meals for two and we don’t have a freezer, only the one in the refrigerator which is tiny to begin with (the price one pays for an ice maker). I grabbed the bag anyway…I’m a sucker for pretty-looking produce! I roasted some of the peppers and added them to a sausage and quinoa polenta dish. The remainder were used in this dish. We enjoy cheese of all sorts – well not the ones with fruit added (yuck!). Goat cheese is so versatile and perfect to use with baby peppers. For this recipe, try using a goat cheese log (chèvre) which is soft and spreadable.  A super easy appetizer to make over and over again!

Serves 2 to 4

1/2 package baby bell peppers
goat cheese log
handful fresh mint, chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
pinch of chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
good quality balsamic vinegar (optional)
olive oil

baby bell peppersPreheat oven to 375f.
In a small bowl, mix goat cheese, herbs, chili pepper flakes and add a splash of olive oil. The oil helps to make the cheese more spreadable.

goat cheese stuffed bell peppers by The Culinary ChaseSlice peppers lengthwise, clear seeds and any white membrane. In the cavity of each pepper add a drop or two of balsamic vinegar. Use a small spoon to fill the peppers with the herbed goat cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese has melted and lightly browned. If you like, use the broiler in your oven to finish off the browning process but keep an eye on it as it will brown quickly.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
Skip the herbs and add a tablespoon or more of homemade pesto to the goat cheese. Enjoy!

Peppers Stuffed with Couscous, Halloumi and Currants

stuffed peppers with couscous, halloumi & currantsThere is no such thing for me as a casual glance at a cookbook. And, when I see one that is esthetically pleasing to the eye with beautifully illustrated drawings, tactile, and delicious-looking recipes I am hooked!   Mr. Wilkson’s Vegetables truly is ‘A Cookbook To Celebrate The Garden‘.  For every vegetable he writes snippets of information including history, nutritional content and growing and harvesting tips.   There are more than 80 recipes so deciding which one to try first wasn’t easy.   Sometimes I am forced to plan my meal on what is available at the time I am food shopping and last Friday I was at a farmers’ market where I spotted a box of mixed baby sweet peppers.  Aha! I will make Mr. Wilkinson’s peppers stuffed with couscous, halloumi and currants.

Mr-Wilkinsons-Favourite-Vegetables-Cover-imageServes 4
adapted from Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables

1/2 cup couscous
6 long sweet peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts (roughly chopped)
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 oz. halloumi, cut into small chunks

colorful baby bell peppersPreheat the oven to 375°F. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl and add 1/2 cup water. Stir with a fork for 20 seconds, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir again to fluff up the grains. Put aside.

baby bell peppersTrim the tops off the peppers, only 1/2-to-3/4 inch from the top and set the tops aside. Insert a small knife inside the pepper and cut out the seeds and membrane. Turn upside down and shake or gently tap until all the seeds have fallen out.

stuffed peppersAdd the remaining ingredients to the couscous and mix thoroughly. Carefully spoon the mixture into the peppers, compacting it with your finger, then place the tops back on. Place in a small ovenproof baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the peppers are soft and browned.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  I left the tops off the peppers as they were baking and this didn’t interfere with the flavors. If you can’t find halloumi cheese try using Queso Blanco or if that’s not available try feta.  I will definitely make these again!  Enjoy!