I thought my pepper plants were done for the year, then I sprayed some epsom salt on the leaves and turns out they had some oomph left before the end of the season.
My mom and dad have made this dish as long as I can remember. We call it “peppers,” with no other adjectives, and my mom makes batches of peppers all summer long. The main ingredient is Hungarian wax peppers, and this dish is why I dedicated precious garden space to such a non-traditional vegetable.
This is just the second recipe in what I hoped to be a summer-long series on garden recipes. You can find the first here: Jalapeno poppers.
You only need three ingredients to make peppers: 1) peppers 2) cheddar cheese 3) tomato sauce.
Start with a bunch of fresh-picked Hungarian wax peppers. If you don’t have them growing in your garden, you can usually get them from the grocery store.
We generally use as many as we have, but you need at least 10.
Slice the tops off the peppers and then slice them longways. We typically keep the seeds and membranes in the peppers, but if your peppers seem hot you can remove them.
Next layer the peppers, seed-side up in a baking dish. Last weekend I was home and we made a batch and I noticed that my mom puts cooking spray on her dish. I’ve never done that, but my mom is the master this recipe, so you should probably do what my mom does.
These peppers are arranged in a single layer, but you can totally load it up — three layers, four layers, the more the better.
Next is the cheese. The great thing about simple recipes like this is you can make it according to your preferences. I love cheese, so I grate at least 8 ounces for each batch. If you want less cheese, use less cheese.
Sprinkle the cheese over the peppers. Eight ounces comes to about two cups of shredded cheese.
The third and final ingredient is tomato sauce, and you can exercise some creative liberties here, too. If you like more sauce, add more sauce.
I started with 15 ounces of tomato sauce.
But that wasn’t quite enough, so I added 8 more ounces.
And then Tom came into the kitchen and started singing My Baby’s Got Sauce.
Or maybe he would have if he knew that song.
Done. So easy. Throw it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Keep it in the oven longer if you want a thicker consistency.
I’ve never taken a photo of a batch of peppers straight out of the oven, but now that I look at it they don’t look that appetizing. Maybe it’s also because they’ve never stayed this way for long in my house – untouched, un-ravaged by hungry scavengers.
They look better on a plate.
Peppers are awesome with Fritos or tortilla chips.
Or just on a fork, which is how we normally eat them. You could probably also shovel them into your mouth with your hands, if you’re into that kind of thing.
at least 10 Hungarian wax peppers
8 oz. cheddar cheese
15 to 23 oz. tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove caps of peppers and slice lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes to cut heat.
Coat a 13 x 9” baking dish with cooking spray, and arrange peppers seed-side up, layering peppers evenly in the pan.
Grate cheese and sprinkle evenly over peppers. Finally, pour sauce evenly over peppers and cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes. Peppers are done when the sauce has reached the desired consistency.