I wonder if this news will blow your mind as much as it blows mine: I have been a mother for a quarter of a century!!! OK, I am taking a bit of license here. I was still pregnant 25 years ago. I was 31, and confined to my bed. In the preceding decade, my life had been marked by unspeakable tragedy and 3 years of infertility. The conception of this child signified the beginning of a process of rebirth and renewal.
Birth and rebirth are often difficult, and carrying this baby was no exception. A tumor grew near her head, instigating premature labor, hospitalization, and bed rest. Three weeks later, the midwives said it was safe for me to “resume limited activity.” I took a walk, did a load of laundry, made some soup, and went into labor. That was the day my luck changed. Birthing (all natural, no drugs, no procedures, no hospital) was pure joy. Megan was born early in the morning on September 18, 1990. Being her mother has been, and is, pure joy every day.
We’re hoping to see Meg for her birthday next week, but we decided to squeeze in a few hours together last Sunday. Bob and I spent the previous week in the Outer Banks on the beach-running, swimming, walking, kayaking, dolphin spotting, bird watching, and beachcombing; we stopped to have supper with our beautiful daughter in Maryland on the way home.
Meg is living in Baltimore. The dolphins at the aquarium are the research subjects for her Master’s thesis. I know!!! She is living in a really cool apartment, writing, freelance editing, and working in a fabulous restaurant. I could go on and on about the amazingness of this young woman, my first born, but I will restrain myself and simply share a recent piece of her writing. And a picture.
We had supper at Corner Charcuterie Bar, the lovely restaurant where Meg works as a server and bartender. It was fun sharing a bunch of small plates, including the signature charcuterie plate, roasted quail, house made picklings, heirloom tomato salad, beet salad, and cornmeal crusted oysters. All were tasty, interesting, and delicious. But the dish that kept popping back into my mind the next day was a platter of goat cheese stuffed peppadews.
I have always been a fan of little peppers, and I am quite gaga over the peppadew. Peppadews are small, pickled sweet peppers grown in South Africa. You can only imagine how it torments me that these bite sized treasures are shipped such a long distance. So, please, if you find a locally grown sweet pickled pepper as cute and tasty, PLEASE let me know!!! I will immediately rush out, buy a stash, and invest in the company. In the meantime, I buy peppadews infrequently and ration them. Which reminds me of my favorite instagram hashtag: #sorrynotsorry.
So, being me, I felt compelled to perpetrate my own riff on these little cheesy stuffed peppers. I often combine blue cheese and cream cheese to create a creamy, savory, salty filling or spread. This works well with full flavored Roquefort or Stilton. I went with the Roquefort here. The resulting stuffed pepper is a perfect bite: sweet, salty, tangy, and creamy, with a kiss of sharpness from the vinegar brine. Everything you could want in an appetizer, treat, or a bite to serve with drinks. To quote Brian, “These are the bomb!” Or was it “bomb-diggity?”
Blue Cheese Stuffed Pepper Bombs
My supermarket sells peppadews, both red and yellow, in the olive bar. I have also bought them jarred. I think the yellow ones have a nicer texture, but isn’t the combination of colors pretty?
Serves 3-4 as appetizers or snacks, or multiply for a party.
12-14 peppadews or other small sweet pickled pepper, drained
3 oz. blue cheese, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
optional: minced fresh herbs, such as basil and/or chives
Mix the cheeses and herbs very well. You can do this in a food processor, but I like the stuffing to have some texture. You choose.
Use a very small spoon to stuff the peppers. Be careful not to break them. They are great served right away, while the filling is still soft. But they are equally good chilled, so they are perfect to make ahead.
Happy early birthday to Meg!!!
The stuffed peppers sound and look delicious! If you wanted a sub for the peppadews, why not just look for small peppers at the farm market and pickle them at home? They might not be quite the right size/shape, but may be close…
Dearest Kristin, Yes! I had that thought! I’ve never idetified a small, sweet pepper that would be similar in taste; not so concerned with appearance. I feel like most of the small local peppers are hot, which I like, but not for this recipe. Let me know if you are aware of any.
I didn’t make it to the farm market this past weekend (Dave went instead), but I am working two this weekend, so I will see what I can discover from the farmers.
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Another winning recipe I was compelled to add to my file. One of my favorite appetizers is similar to this (minus the inspired addition of the peppers). Savory mini cream puff bites with blue cheese and cream cheese dollops are addictive as well; I am thinking to maybe add some diced pimentos to the mix to see if I can replicate the flavor if I can’t find the whole peppers…
Dear Laurel, those cream puffs sound amazing!!! I do think some colorful minced peppers might be a lovely addition to the filling. Just know that the peppadews are sweet, and I think that aspect of the contrast with the blue cheese is key to the success of this particular dish. Let me know what you try!!!