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Feta-Filled Red Peppers

August 16, 2011

Would you like to try two traditional Bulgarian recipes combined into one?  Fried red peppers filled with feta cheese is the right stop!  Formerly, a major producer of red peppers, Bulgaria boasts with cuisine widely utilizing the red pepper, as well as tomatoes, aubergines/eggplants and cucumbers.  Popular ways in which the red pepper can be prepared includes frying and roasting.  Fried whole peppers, red or green, can be served sprinkled with feta cheese and parsley.   Roasted peppers are usually peeled and used for making a special salad consisting of the whole peppers (with seeds and caps), red onions, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and salt.  The roasted flavor is wonderful and adds an extra special taste to the sweet red pepper enhancing its sweetness.  Fried peppers are typical of the southern regions.  Green peppers are more often used for this purpose.  They are simply fried and salted.  I’m not sure owing to which characteristics of the green pepper, but frying green peppers brings out a very and even more unique flavor compared to the red ones.  Yet the most popular recipe for red peppers involving panfrying is battered red peppers.  In this post, I tried to combine two recipes: Filled peppers with feta cheese and fried peppers.  The combination was quick, easy and tasty and all the flavors complemented each other like yin and yang.  The Bulgarian yin and yang, that is.

Ingredients:

  • 10 small red peppers, deseeded and cleaned
  • 2 cups of cheese (feta or other white semisoft cheese)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • salt
  
  

Step 1:

Prepare filling by crumbling cheese and mixing eggs into it.  Start by adding one egg at a time to make sure the mixture won’t get too runny.  One or two eggs may be enough depending on the consistency of the cheese you’re using.  Stir well and add salt if not using feta but other type of unsalted white cheese.  If you use feta that comes with the brine, it may need some salt so make sure to taste and determine whether it needs the extra salt before you use it.  This is very important to the overall filled pepper taste.

Step 2:

Stuff peppers with filling using a small spoon.  If your peppers are long and narrow, like the ones I happened to have, tap them a few times in the middle of the filling process to allow the egg-cheese mixture to settle at the bottom of the pepper.

Step 3:

Heat oil in a pan.  Carefully arrange half of the peppers to cover the entire surface of the pan.  Fry on one side for 3-5 mins checking occasionally to prevent them from burning.  Turn and fry on the other side until filling appears somewhat solidified.  Don’t worry if some of the cheese runs out as the heat will flatten the peppers and cause some of the mixture to escape.

Step 4:

Transfer ready peppers to a clean plate and serve garnished with parsley.  Fry remaining peppers as in previous step.

*Tip:  If you end up with extra filling, you can turn it into a salty pancake by adding to it 5 tablespoons of flour, 1-2 more eggs and a 1/4 cup of milk.  Mix all ingredients just until well incorporated without mashing the crumbled cheese if possible.  Cook in a pan in 1 tablespoon of butter on both sides until golden brown and serve with some sour cream and jam on the side.

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