Monday, December 12, 2011
Miniature Sausage Stuffed Peppers + Small Plate Giveaway
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Pork Board. They recently conducted a survey to identify food trends that are appealing to American cooks this holiday season. They found six recurring themes for their 2011 Pork's Perfect Paring's guide and asked cookbook author Jill Silverman Hough to develop a pork recipe to go with each of them. They also asked some members of the blogging community to provide recipes and holiday ideas for each of the themes they were highlighting. I focused my attention on the Smitten with Small Plates category and for the next three days I'll be featuring pork dishes that work well as appetizers or small plate meals.
I think you'll all enjoy the recipes I'm featuring and the National Pork Board has a Small Plates gift set waiting for one of you. The gift set includes: $25 worth of pork coupons; Jill Silverman Hough cookbooks, including 100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with the Wines You Love and 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with the Wines You Love; an instant-read digital thermometer; tapas-style small plates and decorative skewers for holiday appetizers. If you'd like a chance to win, simply comment on one, or all three, of the recipes that are part of this promotion. Everyone can enter up to three entries to the drawing The winner, chosen by a random number drawing, will be announced on Saturday, December 17th. Good luck! While I have received a similar gift package, the opinions in this post are 100% mine.
I was immediately drawn to the color and novelty of the miniature peppers in the market this past week. I purchased a bag of them with no particular plan or recipe in mind and brought them home to puzzle the use to which they would be put. My family loves peppers and they have an equal fondness for Sicilian sausage. I decided to combine the two and came up with the miniature stuffed peppers that are being featured today. I started with a very mild Italian sausage to which I added cheese, parsley, rice, garlic and some fennel. While it chilled, I removed the tops and seeds from the small peppers and brushed their exteriors with a really heady olive oil. Each of the peppers was stuffed with a tablespoon or so of the sausage mixture and placed in a lightly oiled pan for baking. These are very simple to make and you'll have no problems with them as long as you don't over-stuff the peppers. The filling will expand as the peppers bake and if there is too much stuffing they will crack. They can be made hours ahead of serving, then brought to room temperature and baked for about 20 minutes before being served on individual plates. They have some substance, so they can be can eaten with fingers or served with a fork. The number of finished peppers will depend on their size, but you'll have 24 to 36 peppers to serve your family or guests. Here's the recipe.
Miniature Sausage Stuffed Peppers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
36 miniature bell peppers
1 pound mild Italian or pork sausage
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
1 large egg, beaten
Extra-virgin olive oil
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
2) Cut tops from miniature peppers. Remove seeds and ribs and brush peppers with olive oil. Set aside.
3) Combine sausage, rice, cheese, parsley, garlic, fennel seeds and egg. Mix well. Fry a small patty of the mixture in a frying pan to check for seasoning. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Stuff each peppers with about 1 tablespoon sausage mixture. Mound slightly, but do not pack or overstuff them. Place in prepared pan.
5) Bake for about 20 minutes, or until peppers can be pierced with a fork and the sausage is cooked through. Yield: 24 to 36 peppers.
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Two Years Ago Today: Pink Peppermint Patties