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Kachapuri Peppers |


These pepés are a spicy lil' Mexican treat. Called 'Chiles Rellenos', which literally translates as stuffed peppers, they are filling and very flavoursome; a great comfort food. This recipe is taken from Ottolenghi's instagram, where he sometimes posts test kitchen recipes, and is an adaptation for our Western kitchens.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Makes: Enough for 2

(This recipe is half the original)


Ingredients

Stuffed Peppers

3 romano peppers

100g mozzarella

100g feta

400ml sunflower oil

1 lime


Salsa Roja

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp butter

1/2 an onion

1 garlic clove

150g red cherry tomatoes

1/2 chilli

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tbsp tomato paste

60ml water


Batter

2 eggs

40g plain flour

Pinch of salt


Fresh Salsa

1 large tomato

1 green chilli

1/2 tbsp coriander leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lime juice



1. Get the peppers popping


Crank your grill up real hot, to 200°c. Line your peppers up on a baking tray, stalks still attached (this will help you to drag your peppers from the firey depths without hurting yourself), pop under the grill once it's hot.


Cook on each side for about seven minutes, until black and blistered. If you're as competent as a valley girl at roasting things, you can also do this over a gas hob by holding the pepper close to the flames until you achieve the same effect. Leave to cool on a chopping board.


2. Get the salsa sorted


While the peppers are sizzling away, make the fresh salsa. Chop the tomato into standard salsa sized chunks. Finely slice the chilli (you can use more or less depending on how heated you want this to get). Finely chop your coriander. Mix it all together in a bowl and drizzle over that tbsp of lime juice and tbsp of olive oil. Add a healthy pinch of salt.


3. Sort the other salsa


To make the salsa roja (strong Spanish inflection on the j essential), dice your 1/2 onion and finely chop the chilli. Add it to a saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter, 1 crushed garlic clove and 1/2tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin) with, of course, a healthy pinch of salt.

Cook on a high heat for 6 minutes. After that, the tomatoes will be starting to split and burst. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Then, turn the heat off, add 60ml water and 1/2tbsp tomato puree. Blend in a blender or with a stick bender. Leave to the side for now.


4. Back to the peppers


Now your peppers will have cooled down, it's time to operate. Slice along the side and carefully reach inside and pull out the seeds, careful not to rip the skin. (Operation, the game, was literally invented to prepare you for this). It doesn't matter if some seeds are left behind, you won't notice them. Add the 100g feta and 100g mozzarella to a bowl, crumble together with your hands.

Turn your peppers slit side up and start stuffing with the cheeses. Make sure to get into all the little spaces, there's a lot cheese to fit in.

Once fully stuffed, reseal. This is most easily done with a couple of cocktail sticks (it's lucky you already have your surgeons hat on). Carefully pin the two sides of the slit together, being careful not to rip the pepper. Don't worry about small gaps.



5. Batter her up


Separate your eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl. Mix the whites with an electric whisk for about 1.5 minutes, until slightly stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in the egg yolks, 40g flour and salt with a spatula until combined. If the batter isn't already in a wide bowl, transfer to one.

Heat your oil in a high-sided frying pan or skillet pan. You want it very hot, 180c. Or until you see bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan. Dip a pepper in the batter and lather up. It's batter for three peppers, so you need to use a fair amount of batter on each; it's a high batter to pepper ratio. Once one pepper is battered up, drop it in the oil, transferring it by using the stalk. Keep battering up and dropping your peppers in the oil, until they're all sizzling together. You should be able to fit all of them in at the same time.

Cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. It takes a complicated, Edward-scissor-hands sort of device made of spoons to get the peppers out. But do so carefully, so you don't burn yourself (!) and put the peppers on a drying rack so the oil can drain. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.


6. Plate the pepés


Once the peppers are all out, reheat the salsa roja. Once the salsa is hot, plate up a pepper, drizzle over the salsa roja and serve with a slice of lime and the fresh salsa. This dish goes well with rice too!


And dink and sink!


Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "These pillars of healthy eating (joking ofc) were really good, and unbelievably filling. There was such an array of individual flavours from all of the components. I could have drunk the salsa roja it was so good. A little bit more complicated to make, but golly they're worth it if you have the time. 8/10"




Kate says: "I’ve never cooked anything like this before but it was amazing. I mean, what’s not to love - oozy, melty cheese inside a deliciously charred pepper topped with a beautifully flavourful tomato sauce. Seeing the method I thought this would be a faff, but it was actually surprisingly straightforward.

Just make sure you have a big enough tong to flip the peppers in the oil(I didn’t), don’t put too much fresh chilli in your salsa (I did) and watch out for stray cocktail sticks when you’re eating! I was also surprised that it still tasted delicious the next day. 9/10"



8.5/10 Gasps


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