Pahrump Valley Times

Divas on a Dime: Mini sweet peppers pack a big recipe punch

How much do we love the bags of those adorable mini red, yellow and orange sweet peppers? Perhaps choosing produce according to level of cuteness isn’t the best way, but in this case it totally works!

These peppers are so versatile, so sweet you can eat them right out of the bag. Delicious grilled, just rub them with oil and pop them on the grill. Grill the whole bag because they’re scrumptious hot or cold and make a lovely addition to salads, a simple side dish or snack.

They’re very healthy, too. Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, vitamins K1, E, A, and potassium.

They’re perfect as an appetizer. Colorful and cute, they’re begging to be stuffed with delicious things. You can slice them in half lengthwise and use them like a super scoop or slice them partially open and fill them like a pocket filled with happiness.

The recipe below is light and summery tasting, even though it’s creamy and cheesy. The flavor is fresh and herbaceous with the mild green chilis and cilantro. (If you’re not a cilantro fan swap in your favorite herb.) I used cotija cheese because the mild, salty flavor pairs perfectly with the sweet pepper flavor. Located in the refrigerated cheese section at the store, you could substitute feta cheese if you can’t find it. These can be made under the broiler if you’re not feeling the barbecue.

EASY CHEESY SWEET PEPPER POPPERS

What You’ll Need:

1 ½ pounds mini sweet peppers – about 20 peppers

8 ounces Neufchatel or cream cheese – room temperature

10 ounces cotija cheese

1 can (4 ounces) green chili peppers

1 to 2 tablespoons cilantro – minced

1 to 2 tablespoons green onion – minced

Here’s How:

Preheat grill to 400°F. Oil the grates or prepare a grill pan. I prefer a grill pan because you don’t have to transfer the stuffed peppers or worry about them falling though the grates.

Set each pepper on a flat surface and see how it wants to sit without tipping over. Then use a small knife to cut a slit in the top side of the pepper. Use a small spoon or your fingertip to remove the seeds.

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer whip the cream cheese with the cotija cheese until well combined. Dump the can of chili peppers, juice and all. Add the cilantro and green onion then mix it all together. To get the mixture into the peppers, use either a spoon or a piping bag fitted with a large tip.

You can also cut the corner off a zip-top bag and use it as a piping bag. Don’t worry about it being perfect. It’s going to be messy no matter how hard you try. So, in peppers as in life, embrace the mess!

Place peppers cut side up, on the grill for about 4-5 minutes until they have softened and have nice grill marks. As the peppers blister, the cheese mixture inside turns warm and gooey.

Remove from grill and serve with typical Diva flourish. Ta Da!

Frugal and Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.