Being a fan of all three main ingredients we decided to make our own version of these. They were delicious and will become a part of our appetizer collection. A few important notes to keep in mind if you make our recipe:
- Piquillo peppers are small, sweet red peppers with an almost heart-like shape. They are typically roasted and sold in jars or flat tins and imported from Spain.
- Until a few months ago piquillo peppers were somewhat hard to find on retail shelves. Our web source was: http://www.amigofoods.com/vipidelpiex.html. They are now available at Trader Joe's in jars.
- Do not confuse piquillo peppers with peppadew peppers which are sweet and tart - those are very different peppers! Peppadews can be a bit overpowering and I would not recommend their use in this recipe.
- Make sure to use a dry-cured Spanish style chorizo. The fat in Mexican style chorizo is too liquid and the filling will ooze out in an unappetizing manner. Also the flavor of the pimentón (smoked paprika) used in Spanish dry-cured chorizo is important in this recipe.
- Do not overmix the filling. Just crumble the goat cheese and lightly mix with the other ingredients. You do not want a paste where you lose all the character of the individual ingredients.
- Use fresh thyme leaves if at all possible. It makes a great flavor pairing with goat cheese, olive oil and black pepper.
- Do not use a spoon to fill the peppers - fingers are the best utensils to grab some of the filling and drop it into the peppers. A spoon just smears the filling, is hard to get off the spoon and makes more of a mess.
- Fill the peppers only 3/4 to 7/8 of the way. The filling will spill out during heating if they are too full.
- Let the peppers rest after heating. When too hot the flavors are muted. Serving at room temperature works well.
3 oz Spanish dry-cured chorizo
3 oz goat cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 roasted, jarred piquillo peppers
1. Cut 1/8" thick slices of chorizo into small dice. Add crumbled goat cheese, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix very lightly just to combine - do not make a paste!
2. Remove piquillos from liquid reserving liquid. Stuff peppers with approximately 1 tablespoon of chorizo mixture - do not fill each pepper completely.
3. Place stuffed peppers on foil lined sheet pan and pour pepper liquid over them. Refrigerate up to two hours if not ready to heat.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake peppers until heated through - 10 minutes if just stuffed or 15 minutes if they were refrigerated. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes or bring to room temperature before serving.
Servings: 4 as an appetizer
Yield: 8 peppers, 2 per serving
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes