Grilled Pepper Poppers
2 packages mini sweet peppers, yellow, red and orange
8oz fat free cream cheese
1 small can diced green chillies (drained of liquid)
1/3C chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
1 large tortilla
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
chipotle chili powder to taste
salt to taste
could use packaged taco seasoning
The night before the event is best to prepare the filling so that the flavors have time to meld. Set cream cheese out to soften for at least an hour. Place in bowl of stand mixer or large bowl. Begin beating the cheeses together and add in the chilies and all other ingredients. Mix until completely smooth, making sure to taste it as you go so that you get the desired spicy flavor. Put cheese mixture into a plastic container and store in the fridge.
Heat a stove top grill pan to medium heat. While its getting hot get the peppers ready.
To prepare the peppers wash and dry them and remove a narrow diamond shaped strip that extends from just below the stem to just above the bottom. Using your knife or fingers remove any seeds or pith (these peppers dont have much of either and are generally not hot so you can handle the insides without fear).
Coat the grill pan with non-stick spray (or oil) and lay the peppers cut side down and grill just until light char marks form. Flip and grill until char lines form there. The point is not to cook them fully so they dont become too wilted and shapeless. Let peppers cool before covering and storing until you are ready to prepare.
A few hours before the event take out the cheese mixture to allow it to soften slightly. At this point I scooped the cheese into a pastry bag to have a nice presentation, but a small spoon would work great too! Take your serving tray/plate and set the tortilla on it, sprinkle with some cilantro. The tortilla was a great suggestion by my roommate! I was using a paper towel cut into a circle so the peppers wouldnt slide around, it was genius to use a tortilla! Fill each pepper with cheese and place on the plate in a pretty npatter ordesign. When they are all filled sprinkle the top with remaining cilantro.
Makes as many servings as you have peppers...could be lots of smaller ones or fewer large ones
Pairs Well With
For Memorial Day I wanted a special appetizer to bring to a friends house and had a ton of these cute little peppers left over...they turned out great. I went with a mexican flare as everyone usually likes it, but you could use any combination of herbs and spices that you wanted.