When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When your boss gives you a plastic bag full of Hungarian Hot Peppers, you stuff the little buggers.
Oddly enough, in one of my favorite cookbooks, Mama’s Recipes: A Treasury of Hungarian-American Foods, there wasn’t a recipe for any type of stuffed pepper–Hungarian or not. I really thought that Mama would have it covered.
So I had to go to the internet to find something to do with the peppers. Ultimately, I adapted a recipe that I found via allrecipes.com that had numerous positive reviews.
This is that recipe:
1/3 cup ground Italian sausage
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 tablespoon garlic salt
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs1 tablespoon olive oil
6 Hungarian hot peppers, cored and seeded
- Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the sausage, cream cheese, garlic salt, Romano cheese, oregano, basil, bread crumbs and olive oil.
- Stuff the peppers with the sausage mixture. Place on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes, until the stuffing is lightly brown and bubbly.
In my version, I didn’t try to seed the pepper and keep it in one piece, instead I did pepper halves. Also, I didn’t have any regular bulk sausage on hand, but I did have some breakfast sausage links! So I got the sausage out of the casings and browned it. To make the flavor less breakfasty and more Italian, I doctored the meat with healthy doses of dried oregano and basil, garlic powder, and some fennel seeds.
Aside from that, I pretty much followed the recipe as it was written. I did, however, end up baking these for much longer than 25 minutes.
The basic idea is good. Well, of course it is. It is a hot pepper (ok, these were medium on the scoville scale) stuffed with a mixture of sausage and cheese!
I think that they would be extra-tasty if they were baked in a tomato sauce and topped with some cheese. So, basically like an stuffed banana pepper. Which the Hungarian Hots were, in size, shape, and texture. But these were definitely spicier. Just how I like ‘em.