Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

This year, to celebrate Valantines day, we went to Romano's Maccaroni Grill for dinner. Since our daughter is just one year old, we didn't want to plan for any activity that may take longer time. The dinner idea worked out fine.

I had never been to Romano's Maccaroni Grill, so I didn't know if they had good options for vegetarians. Also, in general, I don't like to eat out at any Italian restaurant. I find that the food is too bland for my taste, and it's loaded with cheese, which I don't like. But, the food at RMG was not bland at all, and it wasn't loaded with cheese. We ordered an appetizer and two main dishes so that we can taste everything. We ordered Goat Cheese Peppadew peppers with Balsamic Glaze for appetizer. For dinner, we ordered Eggplant Parmesan and Mashroom Ravioli with Marsala Cream Sauce. I have to say, EVERYTHING was delicious.

Since then, I have been looking for fresh peppadew peppers at grocery stores. I haven't found a single place yet where they are sold fresh. I also looked for jarred peppadew peppers in the Italian isiles in stores, but couldn't find any.
Anyways, so instead of peppadwe peppers, I used pimento peppers. You can use cherry peppers or any variety of small sweet pepprs. Here is the recipe for herbed goat cheese stuffed peppers.

Herbed Goat Cheese
10-12 Pimento Peppers (or any small sweet pepper of your choice), tops removed
5 Oz Goat Cheese
1 Teaspoon Chopped Chives,
1 Teaspoon Chopped Cilantro,
3Teaspoon Olive Oil

Balsamic Glaze
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

Balsamic Glaze: In a sauce pan mix together the balsamic vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Stir well. Turn on the stove to medium high heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn on the stove to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Turn off the stove, and set aside. A not here: the mixture will continue to get thick after cooking, so dont cook it for more than 20 minutes.

Cheese Stuffed Peppers: Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl mix together the cheese, chives, cilantro and 2 teaspoon of olive oil. We are adding olive oil just to soften the cheese, so make sure not to add too much. Mix everything  with the help of a fork. Transfer this mixture into a sandwich bag. Make a small cut at one corener of the bag.
In a deep oven safe dish, arrange the pepper such that they are all standing up. With the help of the plastic bag, fill each pepper with the herbed goat cheese. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Transfer the dish into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the peppers just start to get tender. You dont want to pepper to turn soft and mushy. Make sure not to over cook them. After 20 minutes, transfer the dish to the top rack, and broil on high for 1 minute. Turn off the oven. Transfer the pepper to another plate so that they don't continue to cook in the hot oven tray. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the pepper. Serve hot.

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