The Daily Herald is introducing a new monthly column — Taste of Tulalip — featuring recipes and cooking tips from executive chef Perry Mascitti and the culinary team at Tulalip Resort Casino, the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino opening in February and Tulalip Bingo & Slots.
Are you ready to score some points with your family watching the Super Bowl on Feb. 7? These Game Day stuffed mini bell peppers may become a tasty tradition in your home, like they are in mine.
The crumbly Cotija cheese and the spicy Mexican chorizo make this one of my favorites.
Everything can be prepared the day before the football game. Mix all of the filling ingredients in one bowl and spoon into each bell pepper half. When you can take a break in between plays, put them in the oven for 10 minutes. That’s it!
I put one jalapeno in the filling, but you can always add more to up the spice level. Whatever heats you up for the game.
I like to serve the stuffed peppers with lime wedges for the couch quarterbacks to squeeze on top of each bite. As another option, you may want to serve each pepper on a tortilla chip for a nice crisp texture.
Game Day stuffed mini bell peppers
8 ounces pork or beef Mexican chorizo
8 slices bacon
20 mini bell peppers, multi-colored
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Cacique Cotija Mexican cheese, plus ½ cup for topping (see note)
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
½ cup finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 fresh jalapeno, deseeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
4 limes cut into ⅛ wedges, for serving
40 tortilla chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Fry the Mexican chorizo in a pan for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Fry the bacon over medium heat. Turn the strips as needed until they reach the desired crispness, 8 to 12 minutes. Drain well on a paper-towel-lined platter. Finely chop. You should have ½ cup. Set aside.
Cut each mini bell pepper in half, lengthwise, and deseed them. Toss the sliced and deseeded peppers in olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place all pepper halves on a foil-lined cookie sheet with the open side up.
Crumble the Cotija cheese with your fingers. Note: As a substitute, you can use grated or shredded Parmesan.
Mix the following ingredients in a medium-sized bowl: cream cheese, Mexican chorizo, 1 cup Cotija cheese, cilantro, green onion, garlic, jalapeno, bacon and black pepper.
Fill each pepper half with the cream cheese mixture with a slight mound. Sprinkle each with (optional) panko breadcrumbs. Bake until the cheese is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Cotija cheese. Serve stuffed peppers with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
Makes 40 stuffed mini bell peppers.
Perry Mascitti is the executive chef at Tulalip Resort Casino. Mascitti manages nearly 260 kitchen staff, including chefs, sous chefs and cooks. He’s been at Tulalip since 2007 and has more than 30 years of culinary experience.