The weather here has been simply spectacular. Fall is one of the seasons I really appreciate in the midwest; particularly the month of October. The weather is crisp, the nights are clear, the morning air contains a hint of colder weather to come,while the late afternoon’s golden sun dances through the red and orange trees. It’s something I’ve never experienced elsewhere. *sigh*
Last Friday was so lovely, we ended up having a spontaneous picnic dinner outside- probably the last of this year. We live a few blocks from the local Catholic High School, and the intermittent cheering from the home game accompanied the last of the crickets and frogs as the crisp night air settled in around us. Thank goodness for the hot peppers! I’d picked up a few- likely the last of the season at the school’s produce stand, and decided that it was a perfect evening for roasting peppers stuffed with shrimp and goat cheese. We roasted anaheims and poblanos. The anaheims were significantly hotter this time, but the goat cheese balances the heat quite nicely. I kept back a little cheese and shrimp for the young ones, added a tomato, and cooked theirs on the stove top, sans pepper. Served over cilantro rice, it was quite a hit with the ladies. That just left more peppers for the grown-ups! My kitchen divas in training also contributed by creating a mixed green salad with sliced apples, crushed pecans and a red-wine vinaigrette. They are really getting into helping prepare dinner!
This is a pretty easy meal to put together. In fact, you could even broil the peppers if you don’t feel like messing with a grill. The hardest part is the stuffing, and your fingers will get a little warm if the peppers are hot. But the end result is quite delicious, and very satisfying on a starlit fall night. Serve with cilantro rice and garnish with fresh ingredients like avocado, cabbage and lime. . Happy Fall!
8 stuffed peppers with filling left over for the non-pepper eaters
8 peppers of your choice ( I used 4 poblanos and 4 anaheims)
1 8oz log of plain goat cheese
1 lb shrimp
For Cilantro Rice:
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For Non-Pepper Mixture:
1 tomato, diced
2 sliced avocados
1/4 head of cabbage, julienned
1-2 limes, cut in wedges
Peel and devein shrimp if necessary. Using a paring knife, slice a hole around the top of the pepper and set aside the top. (think of this like you would the lid of a pumpkin, you want to put it back on when the pepper is stuffed)
With your fingers, stuff the pepper, alternating goat cheese and shrimp, mooshing the filling all the way to the bottom of the pepper. Replace the top of the pepper when it’s fully stuffed. Set aside remaining goat cheese and shrimp.
On a very hot grill, or in your broiler, roast the peppers on one side until they’re blistery, then flip and roast again. In a broiler, this will be about 4-5 minutes on each side. On a grill- it could take 10-20 minutes per side, depending on your heat.. The goat cheese will liquify, so place peppers on aluminum foil. Peppers are done when they’re blistery, the shrimp is opaque, and the cheese has started to turn golden. To serve, place on a spoonful of cilantro rice.
While the peppers are cooking, prepare the rice by placing one cup of rice, and one and 1/2 cups of chicken stock in a covered pan and bringing to a boil. When the stock is boiling, either remove from the heat, or turn to low. When the rice has finished cooking- about 20 minutes, add chopped cilantro and toss.
To make the non-pepper filling: In a non-stick skillet, or cast iron pan, place shrimp, goat cheese and diced tomato. Cook over medium, stirring as needed, until shrimp are opaque and cheese has liquified- about 10 minutes. Serve over cilantro rice.
Garnish both versions with avocado, fresh cabbage and a squeeze of lime.