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.
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…