Hey Hey! We hope everyone had a good weekend. How are we in a good mood on a Monday morning? Coffee. Coffee. And more coffee. But really, and most importantly, we get to share this DIVINE recipe with y'all from one of our favorite restaurants, Bottega, located in Birmingham, Alabama.
Bottega is owned by Frank Stitt, a legendary and nationally recognized chef and restaurateur. Mr. Stitt was doing the slow food and locally sourced thing before either were a "thing." He develops and cultivates relationships with regional farmers so you know you are only getting the best when you go to one of his restaurants. And if you can't get to Bottega, Highlands Bar & Grill, or Chez Fon Fon, then you have one of his cookbooks, Bottega Favorita, to turn to.
Before I get to the Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers, let's address a social media trend. We know, this is a total Larry David moment.
Our Insta feed is basically an overload of curated toast pictures from lifestyle and food bloggers. Does anyone else find this so so strange? It’s toast. The same toast people avoided like the plague not too long ago because…carbs. But now, toast is a thing? Toast is cool. Toast has a good vibe. Toast is hip. Whatever. Maybe we have aged out of trendy toast eating.
Toast. Really? Curated and styled toast. Are y’all with me over how ridiculous this is?
We are going to let you in on a little secret. Here at PopKitty Kitchen, we are NOT into trendy recipes. We are into recipes that are TIMELESS and DELICIOUS. If you are familiar with Frank Stitt, then you know this recipe can ONLY BE timeless.
Here is what you’ll need:
2 large red or yellow bell peppers oz goat cheese
Handful of basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (I used three “stalks”)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup yellow raisins, plumped for about 10 minutes in hot water and drained
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (I used storebought because I was short on time, but the recommendation is to use fresh)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive-oil
Preheat the oven to 475
Roast the red peppers in the oven until each side is charred. This will probably take 20 – 30 minutes total. Once one side is charred, rotate the pepper to char the next side, and so on. When finished, place the peppers in either 1) a baking dish covered with aluminum foil OR 2) a paper bag (grocery bag is good) and roll the bag down so that no air can escape. The point with either method is to allow the peppers to “steam” which softens the skin. Let the peppers cool and peel off the charred skin. If you don’t remove all of the skin, that is fine. Some char is good and adds flavor and texture.
Cut each pepper down the middle, long ways, and remove the insides. Salt and pepper each inside. Spread even layers of goat cheese on each side. The more the better. There is no such thing as too much goat cheese, especially when it is baked and soft and gooey.
Sprinkle the raisins, pine nuts and basil on top of the goat cheese and evenly among the peppers. (Admittedly, I forgot to buy the pine nuts and this was still amazing without them.)
Fold over the peppers. Drizzle with a little olive oil and top with the breadcrumbs.
Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet or oven proof skillet. I used a Le Creuset Cast-Iron Skillet which worked perfectly. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the breadcrumbs are toasty and the goat cheese is melted.
Serves 2 as a heavy appetizer.
Chandler & Cathryn