Thu Dec 27, 2012
New Years poses a hosting challenge—you're usually not serving dinner, but you need to keep guests well sustained for hours while counting down the clock, and if the party is going well, you'll most likely be too inebriated to cook. I attack this quandary by creating an army of finger foods that are good both hot and at room temperature, and these goat cheese-stuffed Peppadews fit the bill quite nicely.
I had never heard of Peppadews prior to seeing this recipe in 25 Essentials: Techniques for Planking, but once I went looking for them, I have since noticed them in just about every grocery I've walked in to. Peppadews are merely a name brand of a small sweet and spicy pepper grown in South Africa and come in come packed in little jars.
They are quite small, and stuffing is no easy feat. The original recipe merely called for "goat cheese," but to make life a whole lost easier, I went with the super creamy, easily spreadable type. I added chopped chives and parsley to it to give the filling a nice fresh, herbal flavor with slight oniony bite.
The original recipe also called for stuffing with a small spoon, but the opening of the Peppadews was so small that this task was nearly impossible without tearing the pepper. Instead I reached for my trusty pipping bag, which was my savior, making filling a cinch. If you don't have a pipping bag, you can simply use a plastic Ziploc bag with a small hole cut in the corner as an passable alternative.
The stuffed Peppadews got a double dose of wood on the grill by being planked, which imparted a light woodsy flavor, along a small chunk of cherry wood thrown on the coals, giving a smokiness. They were cooked covered until they turned a light golden brown.
For so little effort, they delivered big on flavor. The Peppadew itself was an amazing mixture of fruity, spicy, and sweet, while the goat cheese tempered some heat and the herbs freshened up the whole affair. The plank served as an appropriate serving tray, and these little pepper poppers were great fresh off the grill and just as good as they sat around, making them fit all the criteria needed for a perfect New Years party snack.
Planked Goat Cheese-Stuffed Peppadews
Adapted from 25 Essentials: Techniques for Planking by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig
- Prep Time:
- 15 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 20 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 35 Minutes
- 6-8 servings
- 5 ounces spreadable goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1 14-ounce jar Peppadews, drained
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 wood plank, soaked in water for at least 1 hour prior to use
- 1 small chunk of light smoking wood, such as apple or cherry
- In a small bowl, mix together goat cheese, 1 1/2 tablespoons chives, and parsley.
- Transfer mixture to a pipping bag* fitted with a round tip. Pipe herbed goat cheese into Peppadews. Place stuffed Peppadews onto wood plank and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
* If you don't have a piping bag, you can use a Ziploc bag with a small cut made in the corner.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate and place wood chunk directly on top of coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Place planked Peppadews on cool side of grill, cover, and cook until Peppadews start to brown in spots, 15-25 minutes.
- Remove form grill, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon chives, and serve.