I have a tiny bit of a thing for smoked cheese right now. It all started when I was stalking the cheese bits and bobs basket at Whole Foods (because I’m too cheap to buy a block of fancy cheese). I was going through the different saran-wrapped goodies when I came across smoked mozzarella. What?! I was in disbelief.
Without further ado, I quickly dropped it into my basket. When I got home, the first thing I did was to dig up the tiny bit of cheese from the sea of groceries and grabbed a knife to slice that baby up. Actually, I do this all the time when I’m excited to try out a new food.
I took one bite of the cheese, and I didn’t know what to think. Am I supposed to like this? Is this what fancy people enjoy eating? The smoky flavors were very interesting, but I don’t think I want that on my mozzarella.
Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of smoked mozzarella, I didn’t let that experience stop me from dabbling in the world of smoked cheeses. The next week, I grabbed a block of smoked gouda, and what a difference! I think the saltier qualities of gouda better complemented the hickory flavors. And do you know what goes well with smoked gouda? A bit of red wine.
I had a package of mini peppers to power through before they went bad, and I thought a stuffed pepper dish with that smoked gouda would be absolutely lovely. Dice a bit of ham and scallions and toss a bit of shredded zucchini and, MAGIC, you get these lovely stuffed peppers! I didn’t bother to add any additional seasoning to these stuffed peppers because the flavors of the ham, scallions, and smoked gouda were already good enough.
I won’t lie, I was too eager to eat these stuffed peppers while they were still hot, so I didn’t have the patience to take more photos. And you know what, these were fantastic!
Five-Ingredient Fridays: Stuffed Mini Peppers
- 12 mini peppers
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- 3 oz (85g ham), finely diced
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (43g) smoked gouda, grated
- Preheat the oven to 385 degrees F (196 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Cut the tops off the peppers, and slice it in half. Remove any seeds inside.
- In a small bowl, mix the zucchini, ham, and scallions. Scoop some of the mixture onto a half mini pepper, and place the stuffed peppers on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the peppers are full.
- Top the stuffed peppers with a pinch of the gouda.
- Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
- Let the peppers cool for a few minutes and enjoy.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container.