These sweet pepper poppers are mild, creamy and crunchy. They’re a perfect dairy appetizer for the whole family.
- 1 container (11.5 ounces) whipped cream cheese, preferably TempTee
- ½ head broccoli, florets and peeled stems, minced (about 2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, green center discarded
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, minced (about ½ cup)
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup olive oil
- 12 small, thin 3- to 4-inch baby red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers or cubanelle peppers
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups matzo meal (or fine breadcrumbs for all-year use)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground dried guajillo or ancho chili
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- Make the filling: Place the cream cheese, broccoli, minced garlic, parsley into a large mixing bowl and stir until completely combined. Set aside.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Line another baking sheet with paper towels. Pour the oils into a deep pot and set over medium-low heat while you prepare the peppers.
- Scrape the outside of the peppers with edge of a sharp knife. Cut off the stem end and remove the seeds and pith, leaving a hole big enough to stuff the peppers. Set aside.
Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Place the matzo meal, salt, black pepper, chili powder, granulated garlic, and cumin into another shallow and stir well to combine.
Stuff the peppers with the cream cheese mixture. Dip a stuffed pepper into the eggs and then into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat; then dip again into the eggs and the matzo meal (or breadcrumb) mixture. Place the coated stuffed pepper onto the baking sheet with parchment paper while you repeat the process with the rest.
- Raise the heat to high and allow the oil to warm to 365°F on a frying or candy thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, carefully drop a single drop of water or a pinch of the matzo meal mixture into the oil; it will sizzle but not immediately burn.) With tongs, carefully place 3 peppers into the oil, making sure that when you let go, you turn the peppers away from you fo avoid splattering the hot oil. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until brown on the bottom and sides (which will be covered with oil), and turn with tongs, allowing pepper to fully brown until crispy. Remove and place on the paper towel-covered baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining peppers. Serve immediately, with Avocado, Tomatillo, Pine Nut, and Parsley Pesto, if desired.
- You will have no leftovers, I can assure you, but just in case, these are great chopped up and added to a frittata.
Like it hot, hot, hot? Try it with jalapeños. Or for those at your table who say jalapeño is not hot enough, try the 40 times–hotter Scotch bonnet peppers. No matter which hot pepper you use, wear a pair of gloves during the prep. Remove all the seeds and white ribs completely, and be careful not to touch your eyes or nose with spicy-seeded fingers.