Peppers, Stuffed Peppers

Peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchinis; all things that can be stuffed with greatness and made to perfection on the panini.  Like many of my recipes, this one is extremely versatile.  Stuffed peppers I thought originated in Spain, ‘pimientos rellenos’, however I’ve learned that many countries and cultures have their own variation of the stuffed pepper.

India- Bharwan Mirch

Arabic- Dolma (kousa, sometimes called mahshi is stuffed squash– and it’s amazing!!)

Mexico- Chille Relleno

Greece- Yemista

Egypt- Mashi Phil-Phil

Romania- Ardei Umpluti

USA- Stuffed Pepper

 

My recipe for the panini version of a stuffed pepper:

Ingredients:

Yellow, Green, Or Red Bell Pepper

Breadcrumbs

Olive Oil

Egg (optional*)

Chopped Onion

Chopped Zucchini

Salt

Pork Sausage (optional*)

Chopped Mushrooms

 

Assembling:

1. Wash the pepper and cut off the stem end of the pepper (the ‘hat’) to save for later

2. Clean and remove the seeds

3. Rub olive oil and salt on the outside of the pepper

4. In a bowl combine the desired ingredients

5. Fill the pepper and grill on the panini

6. Have something at the bottom of the panini to catch the juices that will ooze out to pour over the pepper when it’s finished

7. Grill on the panini for 8 minutes

8. When finished, take off and pour the sauce over it

9. For presentation purposes, but the hat back on top

 

*Breadcrumbs and eggs are added to thicken the stuffing

*If you are using meat, cook the meat on the panini before mixing with the other ingredients

 

Raid your fridge and see what you can incorporate into your stuffing with these suggestions:

-Mexican: combine cheese, tomatoes, chorizo, bread crumbs and top it with salsa and sour cream; serve on a bed of shredded lettuce

-Meat Lovers: combine pork sausage, chorizo, mushrooms, mix in your favorite cheese

-Cheesy: combine ricotta, marscapone, feta cheese and breadcrumbs

-Veggie: combine chopped/shredded zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, spanish onions, and garbanzo beans

-Asian: Water chestnuts, bok choy, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, tofu, and chopped peanuts (or meat of your choice)

 

Don’t you just love versatility 🙂

 

Enjoy,

Sani

 

 

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Fancy Panini

Have you ever had a fancy panini?  When I mean fancy, I mean not knowing what half of the ingredients are. I had the best fancy panini at a very little place in New York City called Salumé.  Their panini menu was amazing, it was divided into sections according to the meat.  I chose from the Prosciutto Crudo list of panini called Parma Black Label.  

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Literally, the only ingredients that looked familiar from the Parma Black Label was the young lettuce and the lemon aioli.  I had zero clue what Bottarga and St. George Gin were.  Bottarga originated in Italy where they would press dried eggs of tuna or grey mullet.  It ages anywhere from a couple weeks to a 6 months, and you watch the color change until its a deep orange.  It’s also described as ‘pressed caviar’.  Eventually I realized that St. George Gin was simply a type of Gin incorporated into the sandwich. 

The presentation was beautiful, on a wooden chop block with a Parmesan crisp and some well seasoned vegetables. 

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Here’s a close up picture so you can see how all the elements were layered:

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(Bottarga is the orange part on the very bottom.)