Sunny days are becoming more frequent, the days are getting longer and warmer temperatures are here to stay. This can only mean one thing…grilling season! I live for summer nights when meals come together easily. When you can simply throw whatever you’re craving on the grill. Then, pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy the extra time with your family. Now that I’m living in France, I don’t have access to quite the same ingredients I’m accustomed to in California. I’ve had a serious craving for Mexican food and spicy flavors that simply cannot be satiated. So, I compromise and get creative. This recipe for stuffed green peppers is a delicious result of such a compromise.
Back home in California, I use Anaheim chiles, which are named for the city in Southern California where their statewide distribution began. They’re also known as hatch chiles in New Mexico. Here in France, this style of pepper is called chili vert or poivre vert. Though the French peppers are lacking the mild, subtle spiciness of Anaheim chiles. In fact, they’re a touch sweet, but perfect for grilling.
My stuffed green peppers typically have a Mexican twist, filled with cheddar, cotija, jalapeño, onion, garlic, and cilantro, then wrapped with bacon and grilled. A mouthwatering dish to serve at summer barbeques. Especially tasty when savored with an ice cold cerveza, but those are my Southern California roots for you.
In France, this fiesta classic takes on a French twist with Chevre, Emmental, shallots and thyme. Just a delicious as the original version and made wholly spectacular when paired with a Provençal rosé.
Wine Pairing for Stuffed Green Peppers
These stuffed grilled peppers are packed with flavor. The peppers themselves are a touch sweet and mildly spicy with their signature herbaceous, green flavor. After some time on the grill, they become beautifully charred, getting juicier and upping their savory flavors. The melted cheese filling with aromatics is irresistible and the crispy fatty bacon wrapped around the peppers rounds out the dish.
For these stuffed peppers, Provençal rosé really is the perfect match. It has an appealing combination of fresh acidity, citrus, herbal, floral, and spice flavors that sing alongside the layered flavors of the dish.
Since this is a French version of bacon-wrapped poppers, it makes sense they’d pair flavorfully with a Provençal rosé. AIX Rosé was the perfect match for these savory bites.
AIX is a premium rosé made in Aix-en-Provence, the heart of Southern France’s most beautiful region. The rosé is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, three of my favorite red varieties. Characterized by a stunning pale salmon color in the glass, this rosé offers elegant aromas of red fruits, peach, and jasmine florals. Round on the palate, with fresh acidity and savory mineral flavors. Both complement the richness of the cheese and bacon fantastically. While the wine’s graceful aromas enliven the flavors of thyme, garlic, and onions in the stuffed green peppers.
A fresh, easy, and perhaps a more sophisticated take on jalapeño poppers.
- 4 Anaheim peppers
- 1/4 white onion, finely minced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 jalapeño or spicy chili of choice, finely minced
- 1 cup grated Emmental cheese
- 1/3 cup Chevre goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 pinch dried oregano
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- 1 pinch paprika
- drizzle of olive oil
Turn on your barbeque to medium-high heat or pre-heat your oven to 450°F.
Wash the peppers. Cut their tops off and clean out the seeds and veins from the interior.
Mix the cheeses, onion, garlic, herbs, spices, and olive oil together in a bowl. Then stuff the peppers with the mixture. It’s easiest to use your hands. You can also cut the sides of the pepper if needed to get the filling throughout.
Next, wrap the peppers with bacon tightly, covering as much of the pepper as possible. Use toothpicks to secure the bacon and close the peppers if you cut them open previously.
If cooking in the oven, place a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Lay the peppers on the rack and bake for 20 minutes. Loosely place a piece of aluminum foil over the peppers to avoid splattering your oven with bacon grease. But don’t wrap the foil tightly so the steam from cooking can escape. Finish cooking the peppers for 2-3 minutes under the broiler to crisp the bacon.
If cooking on the grill, cook the peppers on medium-high heat, turning occasionally until the bacon is golden brown and crispy.