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Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce

Meat, Rice & Goat Cheese Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with roasted pepper cream sauce and crispy fried shallots
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Intro

Stuffed bell pepper recipes are everywhere out there. This recipe is a liberal twist on a classic, using different and spicier peppers.

This creation was inspired by some stuffed piquillo pepper tapas we had recently at one of our top 3 favorite Portland restaurants, Toro Bravo. After we died over them at dinner, the next morning we found the same piquillo peppers at our farmer’s market, so I decided to try and recreate the rockstar flavor combo.

(Check out this awesome October Farmer’s Market loot BTW, with our peppers front and center!)

Portland Farmer's Market Produce
October Portland Farmer’s Market Produce

I will be the first to admit that I have never been a fan of peppers. In fact, given that I was a pretty picky-eating kid with an irrational fear of strange/mushy textures, peppers were definitely on my “do not touch” list even as an adult.

That is, until one warm summer evening at a Farm to Table dinner out in Sherwood at Our Table Cooperative, some passed hors d’oeuvres came by and Marc popped a roasted mini pepper and soft cheese-bite toothpick into my mouth before I could really think about it. (He’s sneaky like that, and I love him for it. Also, I partially blame the rosé.)

I couldn’t believe the yummy combo that emerged from that one bite: of smoke, spicy, bitter and creaminess. From then on, I’ve had a burgeoning interest in peppers.

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Meat, Rice and Goat Cheese Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Meat, Rice and Goat Cheese Tomato Sauce

I wasn’t really sure how to stuff these pepper so I did a few whole, de-seeded peppers with a split down the top (in the back), and then some I just cut in half, that resembled boats (in front). I think when I make them again, I’m going to roast the peppers all by themselves, keeping the stuffing separate, and then just spoon it on top of the cooked pepper once I’ve had a chance to skin it. The peppers were really soft but the skins remained tough – a consequence of using fresh versus canned piquillos. We just took the skin off as we ate it and it all worked out just fine.

I used what I had on hand, meat-wise, which was some top sirloin steak. But for this recipe and what I’d recommend in the future, it would be some good quality, grass-fed ground beef. Either would really be fine – depends on your preference.

If you’re interested in pastured meat options, check out Where To Shop.

There are quite a few steps to this recipe between roasting the peppers, making the stuffing, frying the shallots, and optionally making the cream sauce for them. But if you have some time on a Friday or Saturday night, it makes great date night in food.

We ate these on the couch while watching a Netflix documentary and they proved themselves to be good TV Dinners too! Speaking of documentaries, what we were watching was Salt Fat Acid Heat – and this dish has all of them.

Ready to try this adventurous dish? Let’s go!

Meat, Rice & Goat Cheese Stuffed Piquillo Peppers



Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce

Ingredients

4 raw piquillo peppers

1/2 lb extra-lean grassfed ground beef (this recipe displays 1/2 lb minced grassfed top sirloin)

1T + 1 tsp butter or ghee

1 small onion

4 garlic cloves

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp chicken rub or garlic salt

1/2 c tomato sauce

1/4 c crumbled goat cheese

1/4 c chicken broth

1 c cooked white basmati or jasmine rice (this recipe displays Trader Joe’s pre-cooked frozen rice packages)

1 medium shallot

OPTIONAL ROASTED PEPPER CREAM SAUCE:

1/2 c light sour cream

3 T whipped cream cheese

2-3 de-seeded, pre-roasted peppers, stems removed (you can buy these at most outdoor farmer’s markets, where they roast them onsite)

1-2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2

Wash, de-stem and de-seed the peppers. I do this by cutting a circle around the top and then cutting down one side of the pepper, cutting through any membranes connected to the seeds attached to the top. Scrape or bang out any other seeds lingering in the cavity.

3

Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast in the oven, 25-30 minutes, while making the stuffing. Turn every 10 minutes.

4

Mince the onion and garlic by hand or using small food processor. Thinly slice the shallot, using knife or mandolin.

5

Heat 1 tsp of butter in large skillet over medium heat, then add onion and garlic and saute until onions are sweated and softened, about 5-7 minutes.

6

Turn heat up to medium high and add remaining 1 T of butter. Add ground beef and fry, stirring constantly to break up chunks, until browned completely through.

7

Turn heat back to medium and add the spices. Stir constantly until they are warmed and fragrant, about 1 minute.

8

Stir in tomato sauce, goat cheese crumbles, and chicken broth, and bring barely to simmer, stirring to combine and melt the cheese. Simmer on medium low 5 minutes.

9

Turn heat to low and stir in the one cup of rice. Keep on low while peppers complete roasting. Place shallots in hot skillet with 1T oil, reduce heat, and fry on medium until wilted, caramelized and crispy. Lightly salt and set aside.

10

When peppers are roasted and soft, remove them from oven and, using tongs or a fork, remove the tough/charred skins. (Some people prefer to leave the skins on and eat them which is fine).

11

Put two large spoonfuls of stuffing inside/on top of each pepper. Turn your broiler to high and sprinkle grated cheese of choice (pictured here is pecorino) on top of stuffing. Broil the stuffed peppers until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 2-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on them and ensure they are no closer than 3″ away from broiler flame.

12

Remove and serve immediately with crispy shallots. Optionally, serve them over a roasted pepper cream sauce, as pictured. Simply mix all sauce ingredients in magic bullet or small food processor until well pureed.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories
260

Protein
20g

Carbs
18g

Fiber
1g

Fat
12g

Tags:

Dinner In Provence
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