Stuffed Hatch Peppers: Delicious Side Dish

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A few months ago, a Columbian friend of mine made lunch for us one afternoon and served cheese-stuffed Anaheim peppers that were simply amazing.  The peppers were mild-tasting, but the cheese added a nice creamy texture to the dish.  I’ve made a similar dish off-and-on, each time experimenting with various long mild peppers.  This weekend, I gave Hatch peppers a try after I picked up a few on sale at our local Sprouts market.  I also experimented with my own cream cheese filling that incorporated a few leftover ingredients from the fridge.  I must say, the combination was to.die.for.  I baked the stuffed peppers in the oven for approximately 40 minutes in my trusted iron skillet and each pepper not only retained it’s shape, but also, the skillet allowed the peppers to be cooked evenly from the outside  while slowly cooking the filling inside.

I served this dish for brunch with some vegetarian sausage patties, but these can be served on the side with any meal.  (I just rolled a leftover one in a roti for a snack!)  A delicious way to get your daily vitamin C dosage!

Cream-cheese stuffed Hatch Peppers

*My version leaves the skin on, but if you prefer skinless, you can always bake the peppers first, let them cool inside a plastic bag, and then peel off the skin before stuffing and baking.  Using this method, reduce the cooking time with the stuffing to 10 minutes, as the peppers are already cooked through.

Ingredients (for 3, 5″ peppers)

  • 3 Hatch Peppers, washed and slit down the middle.  I leave in the seeds as it adds flavor and texture, but you can remove them if you wish
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened.  I left it on the counter for approximately 30 minutes to thaw and soften
  • 4 or 5 Crimini mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, finely diced (adds heat to the dish, but completely optional)
  • 3 black olives, finely diced
  • One or two stalks of chives, finely chopped (or to taste)
  • One or two teaspoons of Italian seasoning (or to taste)
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  To make the the cream cheese stuffing easy to stuff into the pepper, use a pastry bag or a small plastic bag, with one corner snipped off:  mix all ingredients together and spoon into a pastry bag or a small plastic bag.  Push all the filling to the bottom and snip off one small corner.

3.  Start piping the ingredients into the each pepper.  I would recommend only filling the peppers 1/2 full, otherwise the filling starts to fall out when baking.

4.  Use a 10″ cast iron skillet and pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan.

5.  Place each pepper in the pan, with the stuffing side facing up.

6.  Carefully place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until peppers are soft to the touch and the stuffing appears to take on the color of the mushrooms (and the peppers turn a lighter shade of green.)

7.  Be very careful in removing the skillet from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes and gently remove from the pan using a spatula and serve.  Feel free to cut in half for smaller portions.

Hatch peppers stuffed and ready to go in the oven

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Baked peppers plated

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