Blistered Peppers Tapas

Blistered Peppers Tapas

Tapas some of my favorites things when visiting Spain.  Tapas are appetizers or snacks that are generally eaten in the evenings before dinner.  We usually enjoy them with a  pitcher of Sangria.

Tapas are usually smaller servings of Spanish favorites and are a great way to sample a variety of dishes.   They can be hot or cold and range from olives to small bowls of scampi style shrimp.  One of our favorites are Blistered Peppers, they go great with Blistered Olives which can be green or black olives.

In Spain this particular tapa is made with Padron or Shishito peppers.  Those peppers are about 10 times milder than a jalapeno pepper; blistered peppers are generally on the sweet peppery side not the spicy side like jalapeno or habanero peppers.

But Padron and Shishito peppers are not easy to find in the US.  So I had to look for an alternative.  After experimenting with different types of green peppers I can honestly say that you probably won’t be able to find anything equivalent, however you may be able to come close.  I’ve found that the closest substitute are Anaheim Peppers although they will have more heat and are bigger than either Padron or Shishito Peppers.  Another option I’ve used are Serrano Peppers which are easier to find in Hawaii.  Serrano Peppers are about the same size as Padron or Shishito Peppers but have more heat than either pepper and a bit more heat than the Anaheim pepper.

Whichever you ultimately use the process of making Blistered Peppers are the same.  So here’s my recipe.

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Blistered Peppers

Ingredients:

10-12 Fresh Peppers (Padron, Shishito, Anaheim, or Serrano Peppers which ever one you can find or prefer)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:

Wash Peppers leaving the stems on.

Dry peppers on a paper towel.

Heat Olive Oil in small frying pan.

Add peppers and gently cook in hot oil until skin starts to blister and turn sort of white.

Remove from heat and toss in coarse sea salt to taste.

Serve hot or cold.  I like to serve them in small ramekins or mini cast iron skillets


Blistered Peppers Tapas
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Blistered Peppers Tapas
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CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS

CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS

I’m a big fan of those hot soft pretzels that they sell at malls. I have trouble walking by these kiosks that sell those deliciously salty twisted pieces of baked dough without stopping for a pretzel or two. I’m sure you know how expensive they can get, specially after you add the dipping sauce and drink! Then it gets really costly if you have to buy pretzels for the family.

Well I’ve started making them at home! I know you think it hard, messy, and time consuming. What with letting the rising, blanching, rolling, and shaping of the dough it does sound pretty daunting. But what if you can whip up a batch in about an hour?

Yup this recipe makes a batch of 8 pretzels (more or less depending on the size you make) in about an hour from start to finish. The best part it they cost pennies to make and taste just like the ones at the mall! (At least that’s what my grandkids say, and they love mall pretzels!)

These pretzels are a variation of my Basic Pretzel Recipe. I just added the cheese and garlic!

By the way these pretzels do not require blanching in a baking soda bath. You use an egg wash and it’ll have the same look and texture as store bought!

====================================================================================================

CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS
Print Recipe
CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. Fit your standing mixer with the dough hook.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for about a minute. It’s ok with there are clusters of yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl stir together 3 cups flour and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to the water yeast mix.
  5. Knead for 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky add remaining 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add cheese, parsley, and garlic powder. Combine well.
  7. Let rest 15 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to 425degrees
  9. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.
  10. Form into a ball.
  11. Using a sharp knife cut ball in half.
  12. Take first half and cut in half again so you have 2 smaller sections
  13. Cut each section in half to make 4 sections
  14. Repeat with second half. You should end up with 8 sections of dough.
  15. Roll each section into a 25” rope. Make rope thickness as even as possible. Take end of rope and hold away from you, twist together about 3” from each end. You should have a circle on the bottom part of rope that is closer to you. Separate the ends and bring towards you, gently pinch either end into the circle part close to you.
  16. Form all sections into pretzel shapes.
  17. Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl.
  18. Dip both sides of each pretzel into egg wash.
  19. Arrange pretzels onto a baking sheets covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  20. Bake 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets half way thru cooking time.
  21. Melt butter and brush onto each pretzel then sprinkle with sea salt.
  22. Bake another 5 minutes.
  23. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  24. Serve immediately or store in ziplock bags at room temp for 3 days. Pretzels can be frozen up to 3 months.
Recipe Notes

If you like to dip your pretzels, these Cheesy Garlic Pretzel are yummy dipped in my Basic Marinara Sauce. They’re an awesome combination!

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BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE

BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE

Like me are you a fan of those hot soft pretzels that sell at malls? Do you have trouble walking by these kiosks that sell those deliciously salty twisted pieces of baked dough? If you are then you know how expensive they can get, specially after you add the dipping sauce and drink! Then it gets really costly if you have to buy pretzels for the family.

Well if your a serious pretzel lover and want to save a few bucks you need to start making them at home! I know you think it hard, messy, and time consuming. What with letting the rising, blanching, rolling, and shaping of the dough it does sound pretty daunting. But what if you can whip up a batch in about an hour?

Yup this recipe makes a batch of 8 pretzels (more or less depending on the size you make) in about an hour from start to finish. The best part it they cost pennies to make and taste just like the ones at the mall! (At least that’s what my grandkids say, and they love mall pretzels!)

So let’s start with a basic pretzel recipe. It can easily be turned into any flavor you want by adding you favorite topping like cinnamon sugar or Parmesan cheese!

By the way these pretzels do not require blanching in a baking soda bath. We’ll you an egg wash and it’ll have the same look and texture as store bought!

====================================================================================================

BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE
Print Recipe
BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. Fit your standing mixer with the dough hook.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for about a minute. It’s ok with there are clusters of yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl stir together 3 cups flour and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to the water yeast mix.
  5. Knead for 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky add remaining 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Let rest 15 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to 425degrees
  8. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.
  9. Form into a ball.
  10. Using a sharp knife cut ball in half.
  11. Take first half and cut in half again so you have 2 smaller sections
  12. Cut each section in half to make 4 sections
  13. Repeat with second half. You should end up with 8 sections of dough.
  14. Roll each section into a 25” rope. Make rope thickness as even as possible. Take end of rope and hold away from you, twist together about 3” from each end. You should have a circle on the bottom part of rope that is closer to you. Separate the ends and bring towards you, gently pinch either end into the circle part close to you.
  15. Form all sections into pretzel shapes.
  16. Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl.
  17. Dip both sides of each pretzel into egg wash.
  18. Arrange pretzels onto a baking sheets covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  19. Bake 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets half way thru cooking time.
  20. Melt butter and brush onto each pretzel then sprinkle with sea salt.
  21. Bake another 5 minutes.
  22. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  23. Serve immediately or store in ziplock bags at room temp for 3 days. Pretzels can be frozen up to 3 months.
CINNAMON SUGAR PRETZELS
  1. Make the pretzels using Basic Pretzel recipe but omit coarse sea salt.
  2. Instead mix 2 tbs ground cinnamon with 1 tbs sugar.
  3. When pretzels come out of the oven brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cool and serve.
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The Perfect Baked Potato Recipe

The Perfect Baked Potato Recipe

baked potatoI look at a baked potato and see possibilities.  To me baked potatoes are like a blank canvas; blank, pristine, and ready for some creativity.  Baked potatoes really are quite versatile.  They can be a side dish or the main course depending on the toppings you pile on them.  But before you start piling on the fixings you must first make the canvas.  That’s where the perfect baked potato is a must, after all you can’t create your masterpiece on a wrinkled canvas!

When I’m in a rush and craving a baked potato I use my handy microwave potato bag.   (affiliate link).  It’s easy and fast, you have a pretty good baked potato in less than 10 minutes.  But it’s not the perfect baked potato, that takes more time to cook.

The perfect baked potato must be soft and fluffy, its skin must be just browned, a bit crisp, and tasty.  And most of all it must not be shriveled!  So with just a bit more patience you too can make the perfect baked potato.  It doesn’t require fabulous kitchen skills, just 3 basic ingredients, elbow grease, and patience.  Here’s how you can dazzle friends and family with the perfect baked potato!

Ingredients:

4 large Russet Potatoes

Olive Oil

Coarse Sea Salt

Your favorite toppings

Proceedure:

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Scrub potatoes very well – I use a green scouring pad to do this.  Make sure you scrub off the dusty outer layer.

Poke the potato all over with a fork or knife – make at least 6-7 holes

Rub each potato with olive oil

Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt

Place potatoes directly on to oven rack – place a pan beneath them to catch any drips

Bake for 90 minutes

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes

Slit top across lengthwise

Pinch either side of the potato and lightly squeeze so that a bit of the inside fluffs out

Add your favorite toppings. I love mine simple, just butter, sour cream, and chives please!

 

 

 

The Perfect Baked Potato
Print Recipe
Servings
4 Potatoes
Servings
4 Potatoes
The Perfect Baked Potato
Print Recipe
Servings
4 Potatoes
Servings
4 Potatoes
Ingredients
Servings: Potatoes
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Scrub potatoes very well - I use a green scouring pad to do this. Make sure you scrub off the dusty outer layer.
  3. Poke the potato all over with a fork or knife - make at least 6-7 holes
  4. Rub each potato with olive oil
  5. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt
  6. Place potatoes directly on to oven rack - place a pan beneath them to catch any drips
  7. Bake for 90 minutes
  8. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes
  9. Slit top across lengthwise
  10. Pinch either side of the potato and lightly squeeze so that a bit of the inside fluffs out
  11. Add your favorite toppings.
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