Years ago there was an Italian Bakery in our neighbourhood where we always went to purchase our bread and I would usually go accompanied by my daughter who is the youngest in the family.
Our outing always proved to be a real treat in more ways than one.
The bread that makes the trip from a central bakery to local grocery store shelves is no comparison to the fragrant fresh loaves that were baked there daily.
The aroma of the personal size focaccia coming from their oven was only surpassed by the ones baked at home but upon entering the small shop it was useless to think that you could escape without making a purchase.
As if that wasn't enough reason to make many return visits there, the absolutely incredible aroma of peppers baking for their veal pannini was almost irresistible. It was hard to leave without one but you could be sure that peppers would be on the dinner menu that week.
Fried, pickled, grilled, roasted, stuffed and stir fried are only a few ways we’ve prepared and enjoyed the numerous varieties. But apparently only Peter Piper can pick his peppers by the peck already pickled!
Over the years a couple of bushels of peppers could always be found among the tomato bushels at harvest time. These were destined for the freezer to be enjoyed during the coming winter months. This is another tradition that is most likely on its way into the pages of history since peppers are now so readily available in the grocery stores throughout the year and most times at very affordable prices.
This is not to say that I don’t take advantage of a good sale in the winter and purchase a few extra pounds to freeze for those times that the pepper prices rival that of a choice rib eye steak.
Even though Bell Peppers are the variety more commonly stuffed, I prefer the thin fleshed, aromatic Cubanelle for this recipe. The tender flesh of this pepper seems to just melt in your mouth.
In a recent conversation with my mother she asked me what I had made for dinner. After telling her that I had made these stuffed peppers she looked at me as if I had concocted some strange dish.
I told her not to worry and that this recipe had come to me a while back from a very reliable source…herself!
Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers
6 to 8 smaller size Cubanelle peppers
1 pound ground meat (pork, veal, chicken or any combination)
½ cup grated cheese
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
Corn or vegetable oil for frying
- Wash and thoroughly dry peppers.
- With a paring knife gently remove tops.
- Clean pepper out and discard any seeds.
- Fill with meat filling making sure to totally fill, replace tops.
- In a skillet, fry peppers on low heat until golden turning to brown all sides.
- Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Prepare Marinara Sauce and just as it comes to a boil gently place peppers into sauce. If possible use a pan that will accommodate the peppers in one layer.
- Once it comes up to a boil again lower heat to simmer and cook 30 to 40 minutes.
- Beat the eggs with a fork.
- Add eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper to meat.
- Thoroughly mix together and fill peppers.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- Tops of peppers are optional and only for presentation purposes. If they fall off while frying replace just before serving. Omit if you want.
- Add the Marinara sauce( which will be filled with the delicious taste of the peppers) to pasta such as Linguine, otherwise locate a good Italian Bakery and by a loaf or two of crusty fresh bread and dip!
- Buy peppers that are on the smaller side as they are a more appropriate serving size.
- Once again, a pastry bag with a large plain tip makes filling the peppers fast and neat.
- Measurements of the ingredients are just a guideline as amounts will vary depending on the size of peppers purchased.