Chorizo Stuffed Mini Peppers
One of the things I really enjoy is making the kind of one-bite finger foods that are great snacks for watching a playoff game or a big race, the kind of things that go well with an ice-cold beer. So when I spotted some cool bite-size sweet peppers at the grocery, my first thought was “How can I jazz these up?” These chorizo stuffed mini peppers were the solution.
Chorizo is an interesting subject, all by itself. I,m surprised nobody has written a cookbook about the various incarnations and flavors that go by that name. For this recipe, I used Salvadoran chorizo, which, like most of the varieties from Mexico and Central America, is a raw sausage that has to be cooked. The chiles used in Salvadoran chorizo give off an oily reddish colored juice that gives it a characteristic color and a unique flavor, with only moderate heat. I wish I knew precisely what those peppers are. Oh well.
As for other varieties of raw chorizo, Mexican versions tend to bring much more heat, while Argentina’s chorizo is loaded with garlic. All of the Central American varieties, as far as I can determine, are somewhere in-between in terms of heat, anyway. Spanish and Portuguese chorizo is a different matter (and not really suitable for this recipe) in that it is generally smoked and dried, with a texture that’s more like salami than sausage.
To make the stuffed peppers pictured, I stuck with the traditional practice of combining cooked sausage and cooked rice. The chorizo supplies all the seasoning you could want, provided you choose the sausage that fits your heat profile. If I wanted to serve these on a plate as part of a meal, I think it would be delicious to ladle a bit of enchilada sauce over them, something that’s not very practical for finger food.
- 1 lb. mini bell peppers
- 1 lb. Salvadoran chorizo, removed from casings and cooked
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut the tops off the peppers and with a sharp knife, remove seeds and membranes.
- In a large bowl, mix rice and cooked chorizo and season with a little salt.
- Stuff the rice/chorizo mixture into the peppers.
- Place the peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil, brush with a little oil and roast until the peppers are just tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Serve hot.