On any blazing day in summer, things can get pretty heated in my house. The kids start bickering, Mom and Dad get cranky, tempers tend to flare. It doesn’t help that the youngest of my flock likes to start his days with the sun, meaning 5:45 am, turning Mom into one exhausted crabby patty.
Occasionally there’s some heat-induced yelling and projectile objects (usually pillows), but afterwards we always have a good giggle. Which is how we all ended a recent evening when the air conditioner broke down.
I had made a batch of these and we decided to play pepper poker. That’s when you go around the table popping peppers until someone gets the one that sets their mouth on fire. It was 90 degrees indoors and we were all getting kvetchy.
My daughter was the one who bit into the lucky pepper. There was a rare moment of silence. Then her eyes bugged out and she lurched for her water glass. To her relief, the coolness of the goat cheese acted to fan the flames in her mouth. Then she gobbled up the rest of the pepper.
The funny thing was, we were laughing so hard we forgot all about the temperature. It was simply no match for the pepper.
When preparing these, be sure to wear gloves as the peppers can really irritate your eyes (hence, pepper spray). Grill them until they’re smoky and charred, or, if you don’t have access to a grill, roast them in a convection oven at 400° F for 10 minutes.
Try making a batch for a crowd and see who gets the lucky one. They’re the perfect one-two-three appetizer for the Fourth. And the best way to cool down after popping a spicy pepper? Have another.
1. Prepare an indoor or outdoor grill. Dip a heat-proof brush into oil and lightly oil the grill. Preheat to medium.
2. Using rubber gloves, cut each pepper lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Scoop out the membranes and seeds with a spoon. Sprinkle the insides of the peppers with garlic salt and pepper.
3. With your gloves still on, mound each pepper half with goat cheese (about a tablespoon or ½ ounce each). Sprinkle the cheese lightly with smoked paprika.
4. Place the peppers directly on the grill and grill until charred and softened, about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and charred, Serve warm.
Cooking on the Fourth? Here are some more delicious Farmgirl ideas for your menu:
and don’t miss these tips for summer entertaining!
Happy Fourth of July, friends!
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