These make great holiday appetizers on a buffet but today this was lunch. It is the ultimate "ladies who lunch" type meal. Invite your Mom, Grandma or a group of girlfriends over and make them this one. Place a couple of mini stuffed peppers on a simple mixed green salad with a drizzle of a balsamic vinaigrette. Yum. My Mum loved it. Her exact words were "Ooohhh Shell. This is a home-run." So it has two thumbs up from Mum. It was the anniversary of my Dad's passing today. It seemed like a nice diversion from the day to have a little special luncheon.
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~Robert Brault
They are also the perfect party appetizer as they can be served hot, cold or room temp and taste awesome at any temperature.
Shelly's Mini Cheese Stuffed Peppers
12-14 (approx. 1/2 lb) Baby Bell Peppers, halved (Costco sells 2 lb bags of these)
sprinkle of Kosher Salt
1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 slices Capicola (Coppa) Ham or Prosciutto, diced
5 oz. Herb Goat Cheese (Chevre)
1/4 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Fontina Blend)
1 Tablespoon Parmesan, grated
Half baby peppers and remove seeds. Wash & dry thoroughly. Place in a Pyrex casserole dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Saute onion till golden. Add ham. Cook 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Mix cooled mixture with remaining ingredients (except Parmesan) till well combined. Spoon mixture into a quart sized Ziploc bag. Seal baggie and snip off one corner to form a piping bag.
Pipe cheese mixture into par-cooked mini peppers.
Sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to 350 oven for 30-35 minutes more or until cheese is slightly golden.
Leftovers are yummy reheated with eggs in the morning. Just pop them in the oven or toaster over till warmed through or if you are really in a hurry just chop them up into the eggs like a scramble.
If you haven't tried goat cheese... do it. I promise you it's delicious. It's lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than cream cheese (which can be subbed though it's not nearly as good.) Goat cheese is also easier to digest than cow's milk cheeses. Lots of people who are lactose intolerant can eat cheeses made from goat's milk. I get the little logs of it at Trader Joe's (cheapest price) but they are readily available at most supermarkets. Costco sells a big log but it's a bit too big (you can freeze it.) For this recipe I used the herb coated goat cheese log. There's also a plain and cranberry version. All are delicious. If you can only find plain just toss some basil, oregano in the mixture.
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