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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sweet & Spicy

So if Peter Piper actually Picked a Peck of Peppers, do you think he made Pickled Peppers?  Sorry, couldn't resist.  As a child I loved to say tongue twisters.  Guess you just never out grow some things.  

We are all trying to eat healthier these days.   Trying to figure out what and how to keep the meals healthy, appetizing and full of flavor can sometimes be a challenge.  But these next few recipes are sure to please any low carb dieter.  

Sausage Stuffed Hot Cherry Peppers

2 Jars Pickled Cherry Peppers (about 18 peppers) (drained well)
1 lb.  Sweet Sausage (I use Dino’s)
1 egg
1 tbs. dried parsley
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 pkg. Mixed shredded Italian Cheese  (for topping)
Using small paring knife remove stems and seeds leaving the pepper as whole as possible.    Mix all remaining ingredients (except shredded cheese)  to make sausage meatballs.   Stuff into hollowed out peppers.   Place on foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes in 350° oven.  

Note:  If you don’t like hot and spicy, feel free to stuff those red, yellow, and orange mini peppers, or pickled sweet cherry peppers.    


Jalapeno Chicken Wraps
18 fresh Jalapeno’s
1 brick of cream cheese, softened
½ cup onion, diced fine
½ cup peppers, diced fine
1/3 cup carrot, diced fine
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 lb. think sliced Smokey bacon
1/3 cup NY Maple Syrup
1 pkg. over sized toothpicks to hold it all together
There are a few steps to recipe so I found it best to one task at time for each ingredient before moving on to the next. 
Cut chicken breast into thin strips.  Place in bowl with store bought Speedie Chicken Sauce to marinate.
In small sauté pan, sauté onion, peppers, carrots, and garlic until soft and tender to the bite.   Remove from heat and let cool.
Well your vegetables are cooling, cut each Jalapeno in half, leaving the stem intact.   Remove seeds and membranes.   Remember to leave both halves together so you don’t have to match them up later.   

In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese and cooled vegetables.   Stir until combined.  
Fill each half of the Jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture and then sandwich back together. Place on a foil lined baking sheet or cutting board.   Fill all remaining peppers and set aside. 

Start wrapping each filled pepper with a strip of chicken.  I was able to find oversized toothpicks to stick through the middle and help hold everything together.   Once you have the chicken in place, you can then wrap it with a strip of bacon.   Place it on a foil lined baking sheet.    When the tray is full, brush each piece with maple syrup.  Place on sheet and place in a 350° oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Notes:  You won’t be disappointed with these.  While they are baking, they fill the house with a warm, spicy, maple aroma.   It drove our dog bonkers.  It wasn’t long after they were out of the oven that I found myself having to do a taste test.    Taste testing was delectable.  The Speedie marinade added just enough of a vinegar note to flavor the chicken.  The jalapeno on the inside and the bacon on the outside gave both the cream cheese and the chicken, a hidden Smokey flavor.    The sweetness of the maple syrup and the cool, creaminess of cream cheese off sets the heat of the jalapeno.  You won’t be able to stop at just one.  

You can amp up the filling by changing up the ingredients.   Tried these another time by mixing softened cream cheese with a drained black bean and corn salsa.  

You might try skipping the speedy sauce and brushing the chicken with a spicy mustard.   

Next time I am going to try a mixture of cream cheese and crumbly blue and try for more of a chicken wing flavor.    

The possibilities are endless.

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