"Surpringly simple, but surprisingly delicious: the dark horse winner of the evening." That's how my husband described these little beauties.
They were my favorite appetizers of our recent party.
Two ingredients: cherry peppers, and Italian sausage.
Despite the simplicity, these little pepper poppers pack a peck of punch. Not heat, but flavor, and color.
They're best served at room temperature or even cold. If you serve them hot, the vinegar brine of the peppers is too strong.
Apparently there's a brand called Peppadew sold online and in some "higher end grocery stores" that comes stemmed and seeded, but it only took a few minutes to cut the tops off and scoop the seeds out of these:
Cherry Pepper Sausage Poppers
(Makes about 24 pepper poppers)
2 jars of mild cherry peppers
1 pound Italian sausage (if using links, remove casings)
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Remove the stems and seeds from the cherry peppers.
3. Stuff about a tablespoon of Italian sausage into each pepper (really pack 'em full; the meat shrinks as it loses fat when cooking).
4. Evenly space the stuffed peppers on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (they drip, so I wouldn't use a flat cookie sheet).
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meat is golden brown.
Cool, stab with toothpicks, and serve.