Monday, June 8, 2009

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños and Banana Peppers


I have a new kitchen gadget, and it’s a fun one. Actually, it’s a grilling gadget for roasting jalapeños, and it’s from Williams-Sonoma. I wish they were paying me to tell you about it, but they’re not. I’d had my eye on this for the longest time and finally purchased one the other day. It’s made to hold jalapeños upright and keep them above the flame of the grill, and it has little handles on each side for easy moving and lifting. I couldn’t wait to pull a rack full of oozing, cheese-filled chiles with blistered skins and smoky flavor off the grill. I found some nice and smallish banana peppers at the farmers’ market but had to stop by the grocery store for the jalapeños. The first step was cutting off all the tops and hollowing out the centers. Williams-Sonoma also sells a pepper corer, but a grapefruit knife works well. You’ll want to scrape away the white membranes all the way down the tip inside the chiles and tap out the seeds. This opens space for the stuffing and removes the source of the chiles’ heat.

Once the chiles were cleaned and hollowed, I placed them in a glass bowl and poured a quick, garlic marinade over them. They sat in the marinade for about two hours, and I stirred them twice during that time to distribute the marinade. Next, it was time to stuff them. I made a simple stuffing of cream cheese, monterey jack cheese, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper and used a butter knife to fill each chile. With a butter knife, it’s easy to push a small amount of filling all the way to the bottom of the hollowed chile and then keep adding until it’s full. I had reserved the tops of the cut-off chiles, and they were returned to where they belonged once the filling was in place.

There was just one little issue with this roaster contraption, or maybe it’s not the contraption at all but was just a twist of fate regarding the size of jalapeños being sold locally last weekend. Several of the chiles I used slid right through the holes on the roasting rack. Maybe they were slenderer than usual. The banana peppers were definitely smallish and thin, but I didn’t think the jalpeños looked any thinner than normal. To hold our chiles in place, Kurt took charge of placing little rings of foil on the rack to fill out extra space in each opening, and that worked fine. The stuffed chiles went to the grill as secure as can be, and we eagerly awaited the end of their cooking time. They sat on a medium-hot area of the grill for about 18 minutes total, and Kurt turned the rack once after 10 minutes. The wait for the molten centers to cool enough so as to only burn a little seemed like an eternity, and I worried the jalapeños would be too spicy even though the membranes and seeds had been removed. We were surprised to find the jalapeños were very mild tasting as if the grilling had tamed them. The simple cheese filling worked well as it allowed the character of the chiles themselves to play a bigger part, and the time over charcoal was a key element in building the overall taste. The jalapeños were terrific, but we found that we were gravitating to the flavor of the banana peppers, and they oddly had a bigger hint of spiciness. Roasting the stuffed chiles was as fun as I’d imagined it would be, and I predict we’ll be doing this pretty much every time we light the grill.


Grilled Stuffed Chiles

18 plump, short chiles to fit the roasting rack as best as possible
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T white wine vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 c shredded monterey jack cheese
2 T chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

-cut tops from chiles and hollow out interiors removing membranes and seeds
-in a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic and vinegar, slowly add olive oil while whisking, and season to taste with salt and pepper
-place hollowed chiles in a glass bowl and pour marinade over them; refrigerate for two hours; to evenly distribute, stir chiles and marinade twice during the two hours
-in a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, monterey jack cheese, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste
-remove one chile at a time from marinade and let excess oil drip back into bowl; fill each chile using a butter knife; start by placing a small amount of stuffing all the way at the bottom of the hollowed space and then continue adding until the filling reaches the top
-place filled chiles in the roasting rack and replace reserved tops on the chiles
-grill over medium-high heat for 10 minutes; turn rack; check for doneness after another eight minutes; chiles should be blistered and softened and the filling should be oozing and melty


50 comments:

  1. Lisa! These look delicious and your pictures are gorgeous! They make me want to eat one!

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  2. I never heard of a gadgets specifically to grill peppers. how cool. These looks lip smacking.. i like the heat:-), but i guess after scooping them out they are good.

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  3. Haha that is so cool! Who knew they made a gadget to grill peppers?!

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  4. What a great gadget! Colorful , spicy grill peppers a flling meal on its own.:Delicious!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

    And you can visit me if I can visit you:)

    Welcome~~~
    http://foodcreate.com

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  5. how funny, I just dogearred it in the williams sonoma catalog.

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  6. That is so clever! I had to Stumble it. I cannot believe they make a gadget for it. I a a hot pepper freak. Bring this one on! GREG

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  7. This recipe looks good. Hubby will love it.First time I've seen that gadget of yours..

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  8. I love Williams-Sonoma. They got some awesome stuff there. I remember seeing that one time and couldn't figure out what it was.

    Awesome stuffed peppers you have there.

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  9. I had something similar for my old smoker and I loved it. Made the best stuffed jalapenos and never had to worry about the wonderful cheese oozing out of them.

    Nicely done and you can never go wrong with stuffed peppers and lots of cheese.

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  10. Lisa,
    Is it ok to say those standing peppers look like little elves?
    They do!

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  11. Wow, your stuffed chiles look fantastic! I love gadgets from WS :)

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  12. I'll have to get my older son one of those gadgets! Those are so cool! He loves to grill and loves to make stuffed peppers when he has friends over. What a great idea.

    Your photos are awesome!

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  13. i am pretty close to literally drooling for these. talk about food porn.

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  14. ohhh. those look so spicy and delicious!!! yummmm!

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  15. wow. they seriously have gadgets for every single thing. This is again one of those that you totally don't need, but so desperately WANT.
    yummy stuffed peppers...pop one for me into my mouth, please!

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  16. That is hilarious - I have totally had my eye on that contraption - and I hardly ever grill! Glad to hear it was a success.

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  17. Who ever thinks of making a jalapeno pepper roaster? This little kitchen gadgets looks very fun.

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  18. This gadget sounds amazing and I am just drooling thinking of how delicious these peppers were.

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  19. I've roasted, charred, fried and stuffed peppers but I never thought to stack them upright like this.

    A simple stuffed pepper with cheese can & will delight guests, nice one!

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  20. Hooray, a recipe!!!! Drives me nuts when you tell us what you ate but don't tell us how to make it ourselves. :) This contraption -- with the foil inserts -- is brilliant. I consider myself well versed in kitchen gadgetry but this is a new one on me -- or maybe I saw it in the store but had no idea what it might be for. I love, love, love grilled stuffed peppers, so I may be investing soon.

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  21. Fabulous grilled stuffed peppers! The gadget to grill them is very neat!

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  22. any utensil expediting my intake of grilled peppers is certainly a welcome addition to my kitchen! thanks for the heads-up and for the appetizing recipe idea as well!

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  23. Oh wow, these look so good! I can't wait to get a grill soon!

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  24. The banana peppers is a great idea. We love those peppers.

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  25. I bet the smokiness was awesome!

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  26. What a great gadget!! Love the stuffing-must try it :)

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  27. How cool is that?? Lucky duck!!

    I might have to ask for something like that at Christmas!

    They look amazing!

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  28. they look great, I just got a catalog from williams and sonoma what cool gadgets they have now i see the use, like your blog rebecca

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  29. Thanks for sharing, now I want that gadget! Just picked up some jalapenos today. I make mine similar to yours but I add crawfish, shrimp, crab and wrap them in bacon.

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  30. JSmith: the seafood stuffing sounds great. I was thinking of adding some chopped shrimp next time, but a combo with crawfish and crab would be even better!

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  31. I love that gadget. Can I get it off Amazon? Ooh it looks so good, gotta make it for my father-in-law who loves spicy food.

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  32. Lisa: I also add chopped yellow onion. Sometimes I season the mixture with Konriko Jalapeno Cajun seasoning or Tony's Chachere's and a little cayenne before stuffing the pepper. It's rare to have leftovers. Please post if you try them with seafood!

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  33. That is so cool! Now I want one.

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  34. Nifty. I'm smitten with the idea of having a little grill-size version of the big tumbling basket they roast peppers in at my favorite u-pick farm.

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  35. I love that you marinated the peppers first! I bet it added a nice flavor - they look fantastic!

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  36. Seeding the peppers without butterflying them requires the kind of patience and dexterity I certain don't have. Kudos to you. They look fantastic and I can imagine how sweet the peppers taste after the cooking.

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  37. Dear Lisa, who doesn't love William Sonoma, LOL.. yesterday I got cherry pitter, since than no more messy on my kitchen.

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  38. They look so cute standing in the little tray - yum!

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  39. Hmmmm --- a cool new gadget and it looks like it works well too! These look amazing!

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  40. Jalapeno and banana peppers are new to me. But they look so cute and inviting in the roasting tray. ;)

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  41. I have spent a long time in William Sonamas last time when I was in US. I love discovering new kitchen gadgets, this grilling one you showcase here is very well picked by you. I want one now. I have to check it out in my next visit : ) They should pay you for spreading this out!!!!! Your Grilled pepper rocks!

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  42. lisa what a great idea of roasting peppers.. so wonderful.. thanx for sharing :)
    cheers!!

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  43. That's a cool gadget for roasting peppers! You can even serve them straight from the oven!

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  44. Instead of foil rings, you can also stick a toothpick all the way through the pepper in the top 1/3, it keeps the peppers from slipping through the holes.

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  45. Oh, so the bigger holes are troublesome, eh? I guess they need to make the holes a little smaller, but mine I thought were too small, so somewhere in between mine and yours :) I have to try banana peppers next time.

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  46. I have to make time to visit a few stores while I am here to find these gadgets for myself! I love how you pulled peppers with such uniformity!

    This pepper freak likes what she sees and reads here :)

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  47. Those cheesy stuffed chilies look so tasty!

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  48. I've had my eye on that grill pan ever since the first time I saw it in the Williams Sonoma catalogue. Now that I've seen your lovely grilled jalapenos, I must have it.

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  49. Tons of us Competitive BBQ cooks use the rack to create ABT's for friends and family - you have a good recipe.
    You can use a toothpick to keep your peppers in place also.
    Try some bacon on top (oh lawd now u eating)

    Smokey

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  50. I didn't read all the comments so maybe this has already been mentioned and I realize this post is almost a year old. But....when I get chilies that are too small, I just push a toothpick thru it sideways and then the toothpick stops it from moving thru.

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