Much to our delight, the oven-baked cheese-stuffed peppers were a smashing and zesty success, and far easier to make than grilled ones because there was no risk of flare-ups. Although the baked peppers didn't develop the subtle smokiness or caramelized charring that grilling makes possible, baking provided a magnificently mellow, roasted flavor with hints of natural sweetness that was equally satisfying in its own way. There was no problem with cheese oozing out of the peppers, and the filling was nicely golden on the surface and perfectly melty-hot inside. Needless to say, we plan on cooking cheese-stuffed peppers in the oven again.
1 Quart small to medium peppers, either mild/sweet or hot (or a mix)
1 8oz block of cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese*, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs (to taste) chopped roasted garlic cloves**
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
|Roasted garlic, feta & cream cheese|
**You can buy containers of already-roasted garlic in the deli or produce section of better supermarkets if you don't have time to roast the garlic yourself. I usually buy fresh raw peeled garlic cloves to roast in my oven or for my time-saving stove-top "roasted" garlic recipe.
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet or shallow pan with parchment paper or foil (I like parchment paper better for evenness of cooking and no sticking). Remove stems and seeds from peppers, and any ribs that are too big. For round or squat peppers that can sit upright, I cut the top off around the stem to create pepper "cups." For long peppers like Anaheims, poblanos, jalapenos or mini-sweets, I slice in half lengthwise.
|Ready to bake|
What's your favorite filling for stuffed peppers? Tell us in a comment below.
PS: If you are addicted to hot & spicy foods and are brave enough to eat the hottest peppers on the planet, I recommend Dave's Gourmet Whole Ghost Peppers, on sale now at the Carolina Sauces online store. You can chop or slice them like you would jarred jalapenos or other such peppers: For topping nachos, adding to sandwiches or salads, stirring into dips or salsas, and using in chili and other recipes.