Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sausage-Stuffed Cherry Pepper Poppers – Because the Party with the Best Food Wins

Whether you want to admit it or not, it's getting close to holiday entertaining season, and as far as I'm concerned there's really only one measuring stick by which all holiday parties are judged – the food.

You can have the best DJ, the coolest place settings, even those novelty ice cubes in the shape of shapes, but none of that matters if your food is lame. That's where these sausage-stuffed cherry pepper poppers come in.

The foundation of all great holiday party menus
are the hors d'oeuvres and appetizers. Most people will be drunk by the time the main courses are served, but when the party begins, and senses are yet to be dulled, a bad or boring array of small bites will not go unnoticed.

These super-simple, but memorable cherry pepper poppers will get the party started right. The next day, instead of talking about you trying to moonwalk with a lampshade on your head, or how you spilled a Bloody Mary on the boss's wife, people will be raving about "those little, red, spicy sausage pepper things."

By the way, the hardest thing about this recipe is finding these Peppadew peppers. Except for a few annoying exceptions, you know I like to use easy-to-find ingredients, but these gorgeous peppers, from the Limpopo province of South Africa, have such a wonderfully unique, sweet/spicy/tangy flavor that I wanted to use the real deal.

I was having a hard time finding them myself, but it was my mother-in-law Peggy who came to the rescue (again), and mailed these down to us as part of our anniversary gift. You can get them online for sure, and they are often found at the better gourmet grocery stores, but if you can't find them, most supermarkets do carry some type of jarred cherry peppers. Enjoy!

UPDATE: While I was making this recipe, I couldn't for the life of me remember where I saw this done for the first time. Well, I just talked to my mom Pauline, who informed me these were my Uncle Bill's invention. I should have known! Thanks Uncle Billy!




Ingredients:
8 oz Italian sausage
2 jars Peppadew peppers (about 32)
1 tsp olive oil
chopped parsley

26 comments:

Steffen P said...

Those are EXACTLY the brand of pepperdews I can get in Denmark - and yes, I agree. They are awesome. Normally I serve them plane or with a creme cheese filling, but this just looks amazing!

Thanks!

rosemary said...

Its such a pity I let my peppadew plant die due to neglect. Sigh! I will start all over again and meanwhile I will have to buy. At least this is one thing I know will be easy for me to find as I am in the Southern Africa region. If it was easy to send to you I would do so. Really.

Anonymous said...

You have two bottles followed by (32). Do you mean there are only appx 16 per bottle? I looked for these on Amazon.com, and they offer mild, sweet, hot and yellow. What is your preference for this recipe?

Atif said...

My food wish is a breaded jalapeno popper (filled with cheddar,etc.). I would like to see your take on that. How about it?

kosher said...

never in my mind think that this is possible, but you really make it. I have to try this out look very tasty!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe on these wonderful peppers. I love sausage but also want to try this with crabmeat. A local vietnamese sandwich shop home-makes a add-on sauce using only fresh chopped peppadews, mustard seeds, onions/shallots & green onion tops, and I go there not for the sandwiches but simply to get several tiny little 'cuppettes' of this absolutely delicious peppadew sauce which I eat stand alone. You may want to try making a delish sauce like that one.

Anonymous said...

I see on Amazon that these peppers com in sweet, mild or hot. Which did you use?
These look so good that I'm willing to pay the price of shipping--which is more than the peppers. To heck with paying the utility bill this month!
Thanks !

Jackie

Chef John said...

I used the mild, which are still pretty spicy I think. btw, did you call around the local gourmet shops?

Chef John said...

I like mild. And like I said in the clip, you'll get about 16-18 peppers per jar. enjoy!

Rita said...

finally! an ingredient that i can easily get here in germany. what a great twist to pepperdews, which is normally stuffed with cream cheese.

thanks!

KrisD said...

These were sooooo good. I made a batch on Saturday and promptly ate them all (I dusted them with fennel pollen, because I could and I like more fennel with my sausages). I tried cheese too, but that didn't work as well cosmetically--I used chunks, but maybe grated would have worked better (they still tasted awesome).

I almost wish they weren't so easy to make.

Teena said...

There were many times where I check out your recipes/vids, and say to myself 'I can make that', but this is the first time I'm actually following through. However, I'm having a hard time locating cherry peppers - looked at 4 big supermarket chains already and no luck. However, I did see fresh mini sweet bell peppers (not in jar) which is a bit bigger than the cherry peppers. If I use these instead, should I still turn the oven temp to the same as in your recipe?

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe and met with complete success. I had no problem finding peppadews in my area (Wholefoods). I tried both sweet and hot Italian sausage. Personally, I prefer the sweet sausage version, but hot was also good. This preparation is as simple as it gets for an appetizer not out of a box. I may be responsible for starting a local food craze with this one. Highly recommended. Thanks!

Teena said...

So it took me nearly a month to find these Peppadew jars but alas, success! Just made them and was enjoyed by my whole family. I will definitely stock up on these for family xmas party. Thanks for the recipe. However, you have yet to answer my question above regarding the mini bell peppers...still waiting, Chef John.

Chef John said...

Yes! Same temp. Just roast until tender. Enjoy!

Jimg2001 said...

I made these for a tailgate party and what a hit they were! I made them with both hot and mild sausage which were equally as good. The prep is a bit much (I made around sixty of them) but well worth it. Next time I may try this with a small bit of cream cheese in the pepper prior to stuffing in the sausage. Thanks for this great recipe

bed frame amish said...

Thanks for including the video! That was really helpful! I am now ready to try this one out!

Anonymous said...

These were a huge hit. I couldn't find peppadews locally, so I just bought the ones in the jars that need to be seeded. Seeding them took a while till I got the hang of it. I could only find 2 jars of hot, and 1 jar of sweet. I used hot and mild sausage. The hot sausage and the hot pepper was a huge hit among the pepper-heads but was too much for others. Fortunately, the mild sausage was lighter in color and easy to spot. These will be a part of our parties till I get tired of making of them, because no one gets tired of eating them. 3 jars were gone in no time flat!

-Pyrofish

wdbnk said...

Any reason these couldn't be prepared a day ahead, refrigerated, then baked before event?
Happy Thanksgiving and, especially, thanks for your website...wdbnk

Chef John said...

you can! thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if my holiday party won a local best food award, but I made a peck of peppadew pepper poppers for it, and they won the Best-Appetizer-At-The-Party award. The recipe was by far the most requested.

Of course, I gave proper pepper popper accreditation to Chef John and this website for the recipe.

Thanks again.

Vincenzo said...

I made these for a bbq and my quest kept asking where i bought them. They couldnt believe how easy they are to make. You must use the pappadew peppers. I made 3 jars and they didn't last long at all. Thanks again.

Trae said...

ok so general question. When your figuring out new recipes or just baking new things, how do you decide what temperature to bake at?
I see in this one you used 375, why not 350 or 400?

I like to experiment with different foods and I don't really have any insight on picking a baking temperature.

Thanks homie!

Chef John said...

Sorry, but there is no real rule of thumb. 375 is kind of an all-purpose temp. Hotter if I want more browning, lower if I want longer, gentler heat. I just go by feel and experience.

Anonymous said...

I use red yellow and orange mini bell peppers I picked up at a Ranch Food Market for .69 (yes that is 69 cents!) A 1 lb Bag... and to make it a bit healthier, I used a mild Southwest Chicken sausage made here at the local Sprouts Market here in AZ.YUM.Everyong loves them. I am looking forward to trying out the peppadew peppers as soon as i locate them, im too cheap to pay shipping on Amazon. Happy Eating Ya'll

Jerry Drzewiecki said...

Chef John,
Those Peppadews are DYNAMITE!! I found these gems, by chance, about a year ago at my local high-end grocery store. They have a completely unique taste and just beg to be stuffed. Thanks for the inspiration. I already have a half dozen variations that I want to try.