Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stuffed Pickled Piquante Peppers

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This appetizer is so easy. Little red piquante peppers are stuffed with a feta and cream cheese mixture. The peppers come pickled in a jar, so all you do it stuff them with the cheese mixture. How easy is that? There is a sweetness and mild heat to the peppers which is complemented by the cheese stuffing. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Ingredients:
1 jar pickled piquante peppers
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

Mix the cream cheese with the feta cheese. Drain the peppers on a paper towel, then stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture.

Michelle's Cauliflower Soup Topped with Croutons and Bacon Bits

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Another family favorite recipe.  This is an amazing, creamy, velvety soup can be served hot or cold.  What makes it unique is that it is topped with bacon bits and croutons, so is bursting with flavors and textures.  My daughter, Michelle originally got this recipe from the Giada DeLaurentiis Food Network Show.  Pictured here are Michelle, Sean and the newest family member, Madeline Ava Coffey.

Croutons:
1/2 loaf sourdough bread, cut in 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all the above ingredients together.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 10-12 min. at 400 degrees. 

Bacon:
1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped

Soup:
3 T unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup celery stalks (2 stalks)
1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1 head cauliflower, cut in 1" pieces

Saute celery, shallots, salt and pepper in the butter for 4 minutes over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 min.  Add the broth, thyme and cauliflower and boil for 20-25 minutes.  Puree in batches using an immersion blender, blender or food processor.  Season with salt and pepper.  To serve, spoon into individual bowls and top with bacon bits and croutons.  It is delicious at room temperature.