Friday, June 1, 2012

Grilled Stuffed Yellow Chili Peppers

Elaine & I invented this dish many moons ago and I have to say that it's about the best tasting appetizer for camping (or whenever). Just preassemble the chilies, package them in a Ziploc container, and when you get to your campsite, pop them on a grate over the campfire. Just make sure they don't fall through the gaps! Utensils not required, and keep that fire extinguisher handy...

30 yellow chilies, seeded & halved (scoop out the seeds with a spoon)
1 pkg. (1 1/4 lbs.) ground turkey
2 pkgs (2 lbs.) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed if in links
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup egg beaters or 2 eggs, beaten (binder)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican Cheese blend
6 scallions, chopped
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. New Mexico Chili Powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices bacon, diced

1. Saute bacon & sausage until cooked. Add ground turkey and cook through.

2. Add scallions, cilantro, spices, cheese and bread crumbs. Turn off heat and stir in egg beaters.

3. When filling has cooled, stuff pepper halves. Sprinkle tops with additional Panko and shredded cheese. Place in a sealed container until ready to grill.

4. Ideally, use closeable (2 sided) fish grill to hold pepper halves before placing over campfire grate or BBQ grill. Grill 20-30 minutes or until peppers are lightly caramelized & charred. 

*In a conventional oven: bake at 450F for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 400F, cover with foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes. 

Chopped cilantro, scallions & bacon.

Mild Italian sausage.

Saute bacon & sausage over medium high heat until cooked through.

Stir in ground turkey and cook until browned.

Add scallions, cilantro, spices, panko & cheese. Let mixture cool before stuffing into chilies.

I like to use reduced fat Mexican blend cheese for this recipe. Other ingredients are Panko bread crumbs, egg beaters, granulated garlic, cumin & New Mexico chili powder.

Yellow chilies, halved and seeded.

Stuff each chili half with a generous heaping tablespoon of filling and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top with a little additional shredded cheese and panko.

Grill over medium high heat about 20-30 minutes until chilies are lightly charred and tender. You may want to brush the chilies themselves with a little bit of olive or vegetable before grilling to help them to caramelize.

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