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|EVERY FEW MINUTES|
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|STUFFED ITALIAN FRYING PEPPERS|
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Italian frying peppers
1 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp each oregano and basil (fresh is best - if using dry, reduce amount to 1/4 tsp)
2-3 cloves finely minced garlic.
pinch of rubbed sage
3-4 anchovies (or to taste)
1 green onion or shallot, minced (optional)
Italian Frying Peppers are light green in color, thin-skinned, long and pointed.
Sauté garlic and green onion or a minced shallot, if using, in olive oil, til very lightly browned (a teaspoon of butter may also be added to speed the browning along). Mash the anchovies using a fork, stirring them into the olive oil.
Add parsley and other herbs, heat for 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs, then quickly mix in an egg which has been beaten (using a fork) with a few tablespoons warm water. Another teaspoon of olive oil may be added, if needed, for a smooth mixture.
Add cheese and mix well; stir in enough warm water to make a mix that can be pressed into the center of the peppers which have had their stems removed, and have been seeded and cored.
Saute the peppers in a skillet with 1/4" good olive oil with 3-5 peeled whole cloves garlic; turn the garlic to prevent browning. The garlic should just take on a lightly toasted color and will become soft, at which point it can be mashed into the oil and removed (save for spreading this on Italian bread - good before using for Bruschetta!)
The peppers should begin to blacken/brown on one side; turn them several times to distribute the coloring, keeping them always well coated in olive oil. When they appear to be somewhat tender and have streaks of browning, cover pan for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Serve right away, sprinkled with coarse kosher or sea salt.
Anchovy-stuffed peppers are even better on the grill, where grill marks will provide added appeal and color for an appetizing entree. Be sure to brush frequently with garlic infused olive oil.
These same peppers can be made in a similar way, except they are only cored and seeded, but not stuffed. In this case, they are served drizzled with garlic-mashed olive oil in sandwiches made with crusty Italian bread. (A few caramelized onions can also be added but this somewhat detracts from the focus on the pepper flavor).
Either dish is a good Summer meal, relatively light and doesn't need to be served piping hot. Simply sauteed in olive oil, the plain, unstuffed peppers are very quick and easy to prepare, can be made ahead, and also travel well for picnics.
Some warehouse club stores have a new type of miniature sweet pepper in all shades of orange, red, and yellow. They're wonderful for preparing a scaled down version of the anchovy-stuffed peppers, but are a bit sweet for the unstuffed version.
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