It’s football season! Time to gather some snacks and sit and watch the games. My favorite football snacks include hot peppers. Apparently so do many others.
At our booth at an area farmers market, we sell hot peppers from summer through fall. Other than the occasional jalapeno and shishito bought through the summer, hot pepper sales take off once football season starts. We sell a container of mixed pepper, from jalapenos to other super, super hot peppers, and people grab them up.
Here is a mildly spicy pepper with a delish easy dipping sauce.
Air Fryer Shishito Peppers with Lemon Aioli
Scoville heat level of 50-200. In comparison, green peppers have 0 and pimentos have a 0-500 level.
Shishito Peppers are usually mild but every now and then you get a hot one.
½ lb. shishito peppers
1 tsp. avocado oil or other oil with a high smoke point
½ c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ tsp. each sea salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients for the Lemon Aioli in a small bowl. Set aside to allow flavors to blend.
Preheat the air fryer to 390°F. for 3 minutes.
Toss shishito peppers with oil, then add to the basket of the air fryer in a single layer.
Fry for 4 minutes. Push pause and check for doneness. Peppers should be slightly softened and lightly blistered. If not done, cook for another minute or two.
Remove to a serving dish, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over them all and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with Lemon Aioli dipping sauce.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Poblano peppers have a heat level of 2,000.
Olive oil spray
4 medium poblano peppers
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium tomatoes diced
½ medium onion diced
1 tbsp. fresh garlic minced
1 tsp. kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon fine salt)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 c. cooked chicken breast shredded
1 c. mozzarella shredded
½ c. fresh cilantro chopped
½ c. sharp cheddar shredded
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed oven and broiler-safe baking sheet with foil and spray it with oil.
Rinse and dry the poblanos. Cut a thin slice off the tops and remove the core and seeds. Cut a slit all the way down the side of each pepper. Set it aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until liquids have evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in the chicken, mozzarella, and cilantro, mixing well.
Divide the filling among the peppers, adding it from the top and pressing it to fill the entire pepper. Pack the filling into each pepper to prevent it from spilling onto the baking sheet.
Place the peppers on the prepared baking sheet, slit side up. Lightly spray them with olive oil. Bake until the poblanos are soft and charred in places, about 30 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and switch the oven to broil. Top the peppers with the cheddar cheese, sprinkling the cheese on the open part where you’ve cut the slit.
Broil the peppers 6 inches below the heating element (not directly below) just until the cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños
Jalapenos have a heat level of 10,000
12 fresh jalapeño peppers
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
12 slices bacon, cut in half
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (best for clean-up) or a silicone baking mat. Place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet. Set aside.
Cut the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and center membrane. (If you want it hotter, don’t remove the seeds.) Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, and paprika together until combined. Salt to taste. Spoon filling equally among all 24 jalapeño halves.
Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with a half slice of bacon and stick a toothpick through the center to assure the bacon stays in place. Place each on the baking rack and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the bacon is crisp to your liking. Broil for the last minute or two to get things extra crispy. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
There are hotter peppers out there such as serrano, habanero, and ghost peppers, but if anyone offers you something made with a Carolina Reaper, be warned. Their heat level is 1,500,000!