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Posts Tagged ‘banana pepper’

by Sarah Steimer

This dish was the result of waking up late from a nap and realizing I had no plan for dinner, but just odds and ends in the fridge, including leftover ground chuck that needed to be cooked ASAP. Worked out pretty well, I’d say.

  • 1/2 pound ground chuck
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 banana pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 1/2-inch slices of precooked polenta (the kind that comes in a tube)
  • 1/2 ball fresh mozzarella

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground chuck, red pepper flakes, egg, breadcrumbs and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into meatballs that are smaller than a golf ball, about 1 inch in diameter.

Heat enough olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until browned on all sides, turning as they cook. The meatballs should only take about 10 minutes to cook, but cut one in half to ensure it is cooked through. Remove the meatballs from the pan and let drain on a paper towel.

Clean out the pan and heat more oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, letting both soften. Add the roasted red pepper, banana pepper and tomato. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until the banana pepper has begun to soften, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse just enough times to create a lumpy sauce. Return the mixture to the pan and adjust the seasoning (just salt and pepper in this case).

Arrange the polenta slices on two plates, three slices per plate. Microwave just until warm, about 20 seconds.

Top the polenta with slices fresh mozzarella. Add the meatballs on top, followed by the pepper-tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

Makes two servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill has been getting Sweet Fire Pickles from Stover’s Farm at our farmer’s market, and they served as the inspiration for this recipe. In fact, I even washed out one of their jars and reused it for my version. Oh – and if you’re wondering what the red is, those are just mature banana peppers (that’s right, not all are yellow).

NOTE: For any of these peppers, de-seed them entirely or at least some, depending on your heat tolerance.

  • 3 medium-sized banana peppers, sliced a little thinner than a 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced a little thinner than 1/2-inch thick, then quarter these pieces
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt OR canning salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

    My dad likes to make “refrigerator pickles” for his hot dogs in the summer. It’s a simple combination of cucumbers, onions, water, sugar, vinegar and dill (I’m probably forgetting something). This is like the amped up version of that, and I went with a chicken brat instead of a hot dog.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the vinegars, salt, sugar and turmeric until everything has dissolved. Add the vegetables to the liquids and mix thoroughly. Transfer the vegetables to a 16-ounce jar first and cover with the liquid, making sure everything is submerged. If necessary, add water to cover the vegetables.

Refrigerate for about three hours before using. These pickles can be kept in the fridge for about two weeks.

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

If I had to guess, I would say my last pizza would go well with a glass of chianti wine. This would be perfect beer pizza - specifically an amber ale. But honestly, what do I know?

  • 1/2 this pizza dough recipe – or your own
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained and blotted dry with a towel – then chopped in quarters
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 banana peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/4 large white or red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 log plain goat cheese – 5 or 6 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (less if you can’t handle the heat)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • olive oil

Follow these instructions for the dough, if using my crust recipe.

Saute the banana peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil. Set aside.

Once the dough has started to golden slightly, pull out of the oven. Brush once more with the olive oil and add slices (or crumbles) of the goat cheese. Layer the pepper, onion and garlic mixture, the artichoke hearts. Add chickpeas last (this way they won’t roll off). Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce (if using).

Pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the crust has browned to your liking. Let cool on a rack before cutting.

FYI – I almost expected this pizza to be kind of, well, dry. But it wasn’t at all. The goat cheese was nice and soft and the artichokes almost pop in your mouth. Plus sauteing the peppers and onions first really brought out nice juices, versus “dry” raw vegetables.

Serves about four.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout August, “That’s Amore” will feature our favorite pizza recipes using farmer’s market ingredients — all of which can be found here.

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