This is the recipe that launched a business!
My husband and I invited his mom over for dinner and I wanted a dish that is easy to make (in other words, let my husband do most of the work outside on the grill while I sip wine with mom and catch up on gossip), complements grilled hamburgers, is pretty to look at, and most importantly... is delicious.
I settled on this quick and easy summer dish that goes with pretty much any meal. Mom was amazed, and the key ingredient was my Applewood Smoked Garnishing Salt that just brought everything to the next level. It was such a hit that the very next day I started researching how to start a food business and within a month, Salted Perfection was born!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Just 6 ingredients in these stuffed mini peppers - including salt and pepper.
- Mini Sweet Peppers - We are able to find these easily at Meijer in a bag that is enough for a couple of dinners.
- Olive Oil - To coat the peppers before grilling.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper - Just a pinch of each to bring out the other flavors.
- Goat Cheese - Basic unflavored goat cheese is wonderful, or sometimes we use goat cheese with blueberries (available at Meijer) for a sweet & savory twist that is out of this world.
- Fresh Rosemary & Thyme - Amazing combination. Fresh basil is also delicious on this dish.
- Salted Perfection Applewood Smoked Garnishing Salt - This is the key ingredient that creates the smoky flavor and subtle crunch.
HOW TO MAKE GRILLED MINI SWEET PEPPERS WITH GOAT CHEESE
There are just 4 steps to making these easy summer treats. And if you're like me and have a significant other who loves to grill, they'll do 2 of them!
- Heat grill to medium to medium-high heat. Make sure grates are scrubbed clean and then oiled.
- Cut stems off peppers, then slice peppers in half length-wise and remove inner ribs and seeds. Place halved peppers on large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, folding to coat evenly. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold and repeat.
- Place peppers cut-side down on hot grill grates. Once the peppers are charred to your liking, flip to grill the other side of the peppers. Each side should only take a couple minutes. When peppers are done, remove them to the rimmed baking pan, cut-side up, or to a platter for a nicer serving presentation.
- Using a small knife or spoon, add a bit of goat cheese to the center of each grilled pepper half. Sprinkle peppers with fresh rosemary and thyme, plus a nice amount of smoked garnishing salt flakes. Some of the salt flakes can be rather large, so lightly crunch them between your finger tips as you sprinkle, if desired. I've found that our family likes to get plenty of pops of smoked salt in their bites, so I tend to sprinkle fairly generously. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To oil the grill grates, add some canola oil to a small bowl. Then fold a heavy paper towel a few times to make a smaller square. With tongs, grasp the folded paper towel and dip it into the oil until the paper towel is drenched. Then run the paper towel over the grates, repeating until all grill grates are thoroughly oiled.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
These are so easy to make! Here are a few tips to make them as successful as possible.
- Prep ahead of time. If you want to have these ready before guests arrive, you can prep the peppers and filling ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to grill.
- Do not grill them stuffed. We get it, it's tempting to stuff the peppers before grilling. But don't do it. The cheese will melt right out and you'll make a mess of your grill.
- Grill over direct heat. For blistered peppers that still have their shape, make sure to grill quickly over direct heat vs. for a longer time over indirect heat.
I serve these as both an appetizer and side dish. They pair well with almost any meat on the grill - we love them with beef and pretty much any grilled fish. My husband makes an amazing Beer Can Chicken (recipe coming if he will share it) and these grilled peppers are exactly the right side dish with it.
My husband is famous for figuring if something is good, he can add something to it and make it better. This drives me nuts as I like to find something I like and then stick with the formula. In this case, he really did find a way to bring this recipe to a whole new level of delicious.
With guests coming in 20 minutes I sent him to the store on a simple errand... buy goat cheese. If you could have seen my reaction when he came home with one of those shrink-wrapped logs of goat cheese with blueberries on top you would have seen flames coming from my ears and nostrils. "Trust me" he said, "this is going to be outrageous."
He was right as usual.