I cook a few dishes I call "stolen recipes." I didn't really steal anything per-se; I learned to replicate at home after having them in restaurants. My friend's restaurant Graziano's Ristorante in Chesilhurst, NJ makes a wonderful appetizer of cheese stuffed long hot peppers. Long hots are in season now, and available at my local farm stand, so I've been making them weekly for Wifey and I.
- Long Hot Peppers
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Long hots tend to be slightly curly, straiter ones are easier to prep
- Any type of onion is fine: red, yellow, white, vidalia, shallots. I've used them all
- I prefer sharp provolone - I shred it myself in a food processor
- Oven - Preheat to 375F
- Saute Pan
- Cookie Sheet
- Cutting board
The onions serve two purposes for the appitzer: part of the stuffing, and as a topping. For four peppers, I use about half a decent sized onion total. Slice a quarter of the onion and dice the other quarter. Saute the slices in olive oil until browned and set aside.
Long hots aren't nearly as hot as jalapeños or other peppers, so I skip the gloves when prepping the peppers. Lay the peppers on a cutting board and slice down the length of them. Slice open the top, as they lay stable on the cutting board, so they won't roll over during baking and the let the stuffing run out. Remove the seeds and the ribs (the light colored stuff the seeds are attached to). The ribs provide the heat (not the seeds), so remove more of it for milder peppers (Wifey's serving), or less for SPICY (mine). Coat the outide of the peppers in olive oil. I won't describe my process for oiling them, the photos are self expanatory (1, 2, 3).
Fill the peppers with the chopped onions first, then stuff as much cheese as you can in them. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and arrange the peppers on it. Bake in the middle oven rack at 375F for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Remove from the oven to a plate, and top with the sautéed onions and serve. ENJOY!