Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Italian Stuffed Fryer Peppers

This is a traditional Italian recipe (from my grandma!) for stuffed fryer peppers and is considered a treat for special occasions.

Sourdough bread, "day old", try this or this (about four cups dried bread crumbs, see comments)
About 2 to 3 tbsp. small vinegar hot peppers (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches), chopped, with 2 tbsp. juice, you can buy pre-made or try this or this
Handful of raisins (if you like more, use more)
1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped, with 2 tbsp. juice
1/4 cup pignolis
2 to 3 tbsp. parsley (I used a combination of dried and fresh)
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 to 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
10 to 15 fryer peppers (depending on size & "stuff" density), washed, with tops cut off and slit as needed
1/8 to 1/4 cup olive oil for drizzling

How To:
1. Make breadcrumbs: You can do this in advance. See comments below detailing this process.

2. Make filling: Mix "crumbs" with all other ingredients except fryer peppers. You'll add enough olive oil so the mixture is moist. Keep in mind you're also adding olive juice and pepper juice as well (drizzle over your bread crumb mixture and mix well), which add moisture. I added a little olive oil to start and then did everything else and then added a little more at the end.

3. Stuff peppers: Cut the tops off the peppers, wash, clean out the insides, and stuff (making a slit down the side as needed). Grandma said don't overstuff the peppers, although you can see that I did in the pictures! Use your fingers - it's messy but a lot more effective. As you finish stuffing, lay peppers in a lightly greased (with oil or butter) baking dish. After you have arranged all of the peppers, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top.

4. Cook: Bake 350 degrees, lightly covered for the first 20 minutes or so, until the peppers are tender, shriveled, and insides are popping out. Total cooking time will range from 30 to 40 minutes. Check at 30 minutes.

At the Farmer's Market this weekend there was a basketful of fryer peppers. Now, when I see these peppers, they make me think of the stuffed peppers my grandma would make me when I would visit her. So, I couldn't resist and bought a bunch with grand plans about how I would make these delicious stuffed peppers for my family. I called my grandma and she said, "oh no, you can't make those. They are way too much work for anything other than a special occasion". Well, she told me how to make them anyway and they are a bit of work, but definitely worth it. Not counting the bread crumb making process, this took 30 minutes of chopping and mixing to make the filling and then another 10 to 15 minutes to clean the peppers and stuff them.

But, I forgot to mention, they are incredibly delicious! My husband and the little one loved them. My grandma's are better, but these were really close. :)

*** They are a little spicy so if you prefer very low heat, reduce the amount of vinegar peppers; however, keep in mind that the fryer peppers themselves are a little bit hot. If you don't like spicy foods at all, you should probably pass on this recipe.

Bread Crumbs: Grandma referred to the bread in the recipe as "panella" an Italian loaf that has a lot of "malecce" (not sure about that spelling, but pronounced "muh-leek") or "soft insides" to use to make bread crumbs. Traditionally, she would use a Panella loaf of bread and take out the "malecce" and crumble, crumble, crumble (which is why this recipe is so labor intensive). Nowadays, we have food processors and magic bullets and cuisine arts, and this process is much easier... So, you'll take your panella (or sourdough bread, which is what I used), pull out the insides, and "crumble" in your food processor to make bread crumbs.

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  1. Looks pretty amazing! Thanks for sharing with us at Scratch Cookin' Tuesday!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! These are really great - I hope you'll give them a try. :)

  2. Wow these look incredible! Thanks for sharing such a great family recipe! Love your blog! One good turn deserves another, I am a new follower too!

    1. Thanks for the comment! These are really good - hope you'll give them a try. :)

  3. My grandmother made peppers like this... great flashback. Please bring them by my foodie friday party today.

    1. It is great to hear a comment like that! I did leave the recipe at your Foodie Friday and really enjoyed reading about your Christmas Eve tradition. We have a similar tradition here with fish on Christmas Eve but I honestly never knew the background to it! My heritage is Southern and Central Italy - but based on your post it seems like the tradition is from the Southern side. What a great post to read. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    2. So wonderful to hear that you learned more about your tradition. Yes, it is definitely Southern. Roz who shared some great Italian Lemon cookies is from Northern Italy and never even heard of the feast.

  4. My husband would love these! I am hosting a great giveaway on Dining With Debbie. (1) $50 gift certificate to my favorite jeweler robinsonlane.com and (2) a signed copy of Arkansas Pie: A Slice of the Natural State written by fellow blogger, Kat Robinson. I would love for you to come enter Merry Merry Munchies and the rafflecopter entry. I think you would enjoy either one of these prizes. http://diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-merry-merry-munchies-3-baked.html

    1. I just dropped by your blog - I love the Emerson quote. :)

  5. I would love it if you would join me in linking up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/clever-chicks-blog-hop-10-rural.html

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  6. You shouldn't be too surprised your peppers are being featured on foodie friday today. Stop by and get your featured button. I will be tweeting and pinning them this week. Thanks again for being part of our party.


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