Market Watch: Cherry Peppers (and Cheesy Hot Pepper Poppers)

by in Farmers' Market Finds, August 30, 2011
cherry pepper poppers
Find hot cherry peppers and grill cheesy, spicy pepper "poppers."

Green peppers just don’t get the love they deserve! This time of year you’ll find all different kinds at the farmers’ markets including sweet bell, mild frying peppers and these little babies – sweet and fiery cherry peppers.

These tiny peppers just scream “stuff me.” They’re not as hot as jalapenos, but they still have a bit of heat. Try this grilled appetizer, a take on japaleno poppers made with seafood, cream cheese and salty Manchego. They make deluxe appetizers but only take minutes to make.

cherry pepper poppers
Grilled Cherry Pepper Poppers
Makes 14 pieces

14 fresh cherry peppers
4 ounces plain cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
6 ounces cooked crab meat (Alaskan King crab recommended)
3 ½ ounces Manchego cheese, cubed
Lime wedges and tortilla chips for serving

Flatten the bottom of each pepper by cutting a thin slice off of the bottom, being careful not to cut all the way through to the inside cavity. Remove top, scoop out and discard seeds (*see tip). Set aside.

In a small bowl combine cream cheese, cilantro and crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper and mix gently with a fork to combine. Stuff each pepper with a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture and top each with a piece of cheese.

Preheat an outdoor grill. Place peppers on the grill, close the cover and cook for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Cool slightly before serving with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

*Tip: A small melon baller works great for scooping out the peppers.

Nutrition Information (per piece)
Calories: 82 calories
Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 20 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
Protein: 5 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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