This week I am going to share a little known fact to people outside of Western New York. Buffalo is flavor country. Buffalo has inspired some very bold flavors and sensations. Take the Buffalo wing for example, which I have already gone into detail, salty and spicy, sure to get your nose running by the end of your second wing. Another great invention is the “Beef on weck”; this is a roast beef sandwich topped with as much fresh horseradish as you can handle, all placed on a kummelweck roll, which is a roll packed with salt and Caraway on the top. This sandwich is so strong, that it takes your senses to the brink of shutting down.
The list of bold authentic flavors goes on, but today, we are going to share with you one bold flavor, we discovered in Buffalo, in detail. I would describe the ensuing concoction as a culinary punch to the face that invokes your fight-or-flight mechanism, followed by a rush of satisfaction which signals to your brain, that one more couldn’t hurt.
At a wonderful Italian restaurant, La Hacienda, that is noted for its excellent pizza, there is a modestly stated, “anchovy stuffed cherry pepper” in the appetizer section. But if you are so inclined to order such an hors d’oeuvre, what comes to your place setting is so much more than the unassuming name implies. Instead what you are served is a hot cherry pepper overwhelmed with anchovies, Italian cheese and salami, all that has been marinating in a mix of bold flavors that is quite possibly inflammable.
In case you are new to the Play Gourmets, this is exactly the kind of project we seek to recreate. Now fortunately for us, we have an expert in the family who already knows the secrets to building these little flavor grenades. Insert Uncle Dick. While staying with Aunt Susan and Uncle Dick in Niagara Falls, we recorded the events of our last kitchen adventure. Enjoy.
Here is our shopping list:
Hot Cherry Peppers, Anchovies, Hot Soppressata, Fontina, Onions, Italian Salad Dressing,
Olive Oil, Grated Romano
First step is to prep all the foods for assembly. Take the Cherry peppers and remove the stems and majority of the seeds. The seeds are great for heat, but we need the space for the good stuff. Slice the onions, cube the cheese, and remove the anchovies from the cans, saving the anchovy oil for later.
Now that we are prepped with the main ingredients, we prep our jars. Fill the jars partly with some of the pepper brine, Italian salad dressing, olive oil, onions, and grated Romano.
Time for assembly. The goal is to stuff them to the point right before bursting. This will keep the contents in place, plus your palate will thank you.
Next we take one or two anchovies, and place them deep in a pepper, followed by taking one or two pieces of cheese wrapped in salami and stuffing it on top of the anchovies.
Once a jar is pretty full, we add some anchovy oil and then pass the jar to our little Play Gourmet for the final top off of grated cheese.
Of course after the “one for the jar, one for me” method of mass production, we are left with a few modest jars to savor until the next round of preparations.
Here is a look at one of those babies isolated from the pack…