Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eat This: Peppers Stuffed With Stuff

Central Market has had an ongoing "Passport to Spain" promotion, and in connection therewith they have added to their frozen food selection a nifty little product called pimientos del piquillo rellenos de bacalao y gambas.  That translates into piquillo peppers stuffed with codfish and shrimp.  They are made by a Spanish company, Chef Don Molinico.  And they are delicious.

These are the real deal, people:  the entire box is written en Espanol, although someone has helpfully attached a sticker with an English translation of the preparation instructions to the back.  I will admit that the "everything in a foreign language" aspect of the product frightened me for a second - but only because I didn't see the "product of Spain" label at the bottom and thought that the item was from Mexico.  (Sorry, but I can't help but take notice of the fact that most of the botulism and listeria-containing products that get taken off of the store shelves in these parts hail from down Mexico way.)  When I saw that they came from Europe, I (somewhat absurdly) felt better about them (I have yet to hear of a Spanish product being removed from store shelves in North Texas - yes, that's probably because there aren't all that many Spanish products on North Texas shelves, but please stop being logical).  Then I realized that they were peppers stuffed with fish, versus a creamy white cheese filling, and I got a little hinky about them again.  And then I decided that I needed to live a little.

So I bought the peppers. And I bought some Central Market queso from the bulk bar, along with some Central Market corn salsa (BECAUSE THE BULK BAR WAS HAVING A SALE!  Seriously, how cool is THAT?  Twenty percent off of all dips and spreads, woo hoo!).  The box told me (en Espanol) to smother the peppers in queso after I had thawed them.  Yes, I realize that the box was probably referring to queso fresco, not a cheese dip with chunks of peppers in it.  But this is North Texas - home to botulism-laden Mexican canned goods and yummy liquid cheese products.

I took the peppers home.  I thawed them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  I put them in a Pyrex dish.  I covered them with queso and a sprinkling of corn salsa and I baked them until they were heated through.  And they were AHmazing.  My new favorite quick-fix weeknight meal (with a side of black beans, possibly some guac).

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