Around these parts, we've entered the season for a type of small bell pepper called a poivron petit Marseillais (the little Marseille pepper). Ranging in size from about 2.5 cm (an inch or so) to 5 cm (2 inches) in length, they have thin walls and a slight bite. They are pretty similar to the Padrón pepper from the Spanish town of the same name. While I usually just use the petit Marseillais in stir fries, it's rather fun to stuff the little guys too. They take much less time to cook than their big brothers, and can be cooked on the stovetop rather than heating up the oven - which in the hot summer months is a plus. I can comfortably fit about 30 stuffed pepper halves in a large frying pan. (Note: the little green peppers in the photo are the petit Marsaillais. The red and yellow peppers are no-name chili peppers I got at the supermarket. They worked well too.
You can make this with any sweet or spicy small pepper, as long as it's not too hot. I would not use a habanero (Scotch bonnet) pepper for example, but a mild chili pepper like ancho or jalapeño should work fine. The spiciness of the pepper itself adds a nice bite. In Japan I'd use shishito peppers. If you're using chili-type peppers, just make sure to remove the seeds and the white parts inside.
Because of their mini-size, this works well in bentos (but I'm posting it here since JustBento is still undergoing reconstruction ^_^;. They're also good as appetizers, a main course or as party snacks, although in the last case you may want to serve them on a small napkin or secured with a pick, since the pepper falls easily off the filling.
They are as easy to make as regular stuff peppers really, just a tiny bit more fiddly.
A mini-version of the usual stuffed pepper.
Prep time: 15 min :: Cook time: 15 min :: Total time: 30 min
Yield: 30 stuffed pepper halves
Serving size: 3 to 6
To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs, or try using 2 tablespoons of cooked plain rice instead of the breadcrumbs. (And use gluten-free cornstarch or potato starch.)
Alternatively, cook the peppers halfway through, and simmer in your favorite tomato sauce.
You can use the mixture to fill regular sized bell peppers. You can fill 4 halves or 2 big bell peppers with this amount. Increase the cooking time to about 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on. There's no need to flip over the big peppers either - the steam in the pan will cook them through nicely.
Use your favorite stuffed pepper filling if you like.
By Makiko Itoh
Published: August 20, 2013
Type: meat, main, bento-friendly