Sunday, August 02, 2009

Friggitello Incrosta

Perhaps you're melting with high temperatures these days and couldn't possibly think about turning on the oven, or perhaps it is a tad cooler than most summers in recent memory, or maybe you need to bake some bread or cake or something. Whatever the case may be, here's a simple satisfying idea for using up some of the bountiful peppers you might be encountering from your garden at the moment. These filled peppers baked in a light foamy souffle casserole, is an appealing proposition. Friggitelli are a mild green pepper and usually make their appearance early in the summer season here. It's similar to an Anaheim pepper in that it really doesn't have much bite to it. Fill them unroasted with your favorite flavorful filling. I used a mixture of Toma, which is a mild, mountain cheese and Cevrin, a very aromatic local goat cheese that you won't soon forget, after leaving it in your car on a warm summers day.
This recipe lends itself to many variations on the fillings, like spicy or mild sausage and cheese, beans, rice and on and on. It also works very well with zucchini blossoms as well without all that tasty but heavy grease. Have at it and enjoy a light puffy dish with a substantial filling that paired with a marinated vegetable or green salad, makes for a satisfying meal.

Friggitello Incrosta
Yields enough for 2 main courses or 4 antipasti
This is easily scaled up

8 small Friggitello peppers, or any mild green peppers
8 oz (226g)or about 3 Tb of filling per pepper, grated cheese mixture,
mild, sharp and Parmesan your choice
2 room temperature eggs, separated
2 Table spoon of flour or cornstarch
pinch salt

Clean your peppers, if you like you can always roast them and peel them if their skin is to tough. Otherwise remove the stem and seeds and slice down one side and set aside.
Grate your cheeses of choice and mix together.
Fill the cavity of your peppers and set aside
Whisk your whites with a pinch of salt added to them in a bowl that will allow them to expand. Whisk till they are as quite firm as they can be without anything being added to them.
Very gingerly add your yolks and sprinkle the flour over the whites, distributing them over the entire area of the whites so you handle as little as possible.
Hand whisk or fold the yolks and flour into the whites, making sure all is blended, but preserving as much volume as possible.

Grease your baking dish, and cover the bottom with 1/3 of the batter. Place your peppers on the mixture. Cover with the rest of the mixture. Pop into a preheated 350* (190*) oven and bake until the mixture is lightly brown and set with the inside are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Baking time can vary.

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