Mention the word “peppadew” and people say one of two things:
What is that? Or…”I love them!”
Peppadew® is the brand name of sweet piquanté peppers grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
My first encounter with Peppadews was at Mark and Melanie’s Christmas Cocktail Party where she served them stuffed with Boursin cheese. Its piquant taste with the coolness of the cheese was the perfect combination. I was so inspired that I wrote Ring in the New with Peppadew.
When I posted the recipe for Peppadew and Boursin, it caught the attention of Pierre Crawley, representative of Peppadew® Fresh — The North America Culinary & Educational Center for Peppedew® Fruit.
Peppedew Fresh Farms, located in scenic Morganville, New Jersey, is licensed by Peppadew® International, South Africa, and was established to educate U.S. consumers, chefs and retailers about the Peppadew® fruit, its story, flavor, and unique applications.
Pierre commented on my blog:
“Thank you very much for your good words about Peppadew. We will be pleased to send you samples including the new Peppadew Gold. Happy New Year to you!”
Thus, the pull of Pierre Peppadew. The thought of receiving Pierre’s Peppadews was all the encouragement I needed to plan a day in the test kitchen. Of course I had to enlist a willing friend and excellent cook, Melanie, who first introduced me to this little wonder. Bring ‘em on, Pierre!
Pierre’s Peppadews® have a certain je ne sais quoi. The box arrived and their aroma was everywhere — the box, the packing, and the jars. Le juice de Peppadew is a pungent appetizing aroma that until you experience yourself, you’ll never know how wonderful it is.
Hint: Don’t discard the brine after you finish the Peppadews. You will find many uses for it. Instead of vinegar, I used the juice with olive oil for a simple salad dressing for dinner tonight.
When we opened the jars, they were packed securely with a plastic ViscoDisc™ to hold them in place. Upon seeing the meticulous packing, we knew these were no ordinary jarred peppers. They traveled a long, safe journey to get to us.
We decided to open the test kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday. Our husbands were out of town and our kids were running around the neighborhood trying to decide where they would watch the Giants vs. Patriots. Melanie and I were in the test kitchen with Pierre’s Peppadews and we weren’t budging until we mastered them.
Mulling it Over
Melanie said at the outset: “You know, I just can’t think of Peppadews beyond them being stuffed with Boursin…that is just so good! What else could there be?”
But she was willing to go beyond what she knew. We consulted Pierre’s website which has many marvelous recipes created by Chef Monica Cipully. Then we began to think of our own. We made four recipes from two 14 oz. jars. (Pierre did not send the Peppadew® Gold, probably just a faux pas on the part of the shipping department, but we were grateful for the mild red.)
After five hours in the kitchen, feeling accomplished, we plopped down with our forks and a bottle of Pinot Grigio and tasted the fruits of our labor. AWESOME…one bite was as good as the next. When you start with a Peppadew and give it the attention it deserves, it’s a win-win (yes, the peppadews win too).
A toast to Pierre! If it weren’t for him…we would not have had this fun afternoon of cooking, creating, chatting, friend-shipping and, of course, hospitality-ing. (I know, I’m taking the parallel grammar structure to an extreme.)
Peppadew Perfected Recipes
- Peppadew Pesto Pinwheels (mine)
- Melanie’s Mushrooms Stuffed with Peppadew and Sausage (Melanie’s, of course)
- Shrimp and Feta Stuffed Peppadews (Melanie’s)
- Peppadew Pepper Baskets (from Peppadew Fresh, Chef Monica Cipully)
All our recipes are our creations except the one from Peppadew Fresh. We challenged ourselves to see if we could come up with anything new even though Chef Monica had hundreds she created in the Peppadew Fresh test kitchen. I’ll start with one recipe here and in subsequent blogs, you will have the rest.
Peppadew Pesto Pinwheels by Barbara Kelley
- 1 loaf frozen bread dough
- 1-1/2 cup pesto
- 12 Peppadews, coarsely chopped
- Asiago cheese, finely grated, about 2 cups
Let dough thaw overnight in refrigerator.
Roll out dough on a floured surface (approx.12” x 12” circle, but not so thin you can see the counter)
Spread pesto over the dough. Sprinkle the chopped Peppadews over the basil and sprinkle with the Asiago cheese.
Roll dough, top with pesto and peppadews.
Roll dough lengthwise jelly-roll style. Slice the rolled-up dough with a serrated knife into one-inch thick slices.
Use a microplane grater for the Asiago cheese.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Put rolls in pan, cover with a cloth and let rise for about a half hour. When doubled in size, bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
Hint: Make your own pesto but if you don’t have time or inclination, there are a few store-bought brands that are fresh and delicious. I used Kirkland Ciba Naturals™.
Hint: Melanie suggested an alternative would be to use mozzarella cheese, which would give the melting-pulling cheese effect.
Hint: Melanie uses a microplane grater to grate the cheese with ease.
Let the pinwheels rise for one-half hour before baking.
Five-Star Rating! The Peppadew flavor held up with the strong pesto flavor. We thought these would be good served with a salad of any kind. Melanie’s teenage son and his friend popped in the kitchen to finish them off. “Excellent!” they exclaimed and dashed off to watch the Super Bowl with their pizza and nachos!
Melanie’s Mushrooms Stuffed with Peppadew and Sausage