It was one of those days. You know those days. The ones when you decide to eat two big spoonfuls of peanut butter before heading out on your 3 mile run (because for some reason you were craving peanut butter at 6 o’clock in the morning) and then you realize, one mile into the run, that that was a very bad idea and there’s no way you can go any further so you double back and walk all the way to your car feeling stupid for the self-induced stomach cramps, not to mention sabotaging your morning exercise. Of course by the time you get home you realize you should have been in the shower fifteen minutes ago, you can’t find your clothes because everything is piled on the back of your bedroom chair (which you swore you would put away last night...), you trip on your way to the kitchen and stub your toe because your shoes were left in the hallway, and after hopping up and down on one foot sucking in air for a minute (a minute you don’t have because, remember, you’re late) you finally limp your way to the fridge only to realize there are no leftovers for you to take for lunch and there’s no time to make anything. And it’s not even 8:30 yet.
Oh, and did I mention this is a Monday? As if Mondays aren’t hard enough just being Mondays.
We all know when it rains it pours, so I won't even get into the rest of the day. Needless to say, by the time I headed home that evening I was ready for something comforting, something that would excite my senses and bring a smile to my face.
My thoughts turned to the brightly colored sweet peppers in the fridge, to the green fiery jalapeños beside them, and I found myself craving a dish I had never even eaten...stuffed jalapeños.
The second the prospect of a new dish was on the horizon, the creative juices started to flow and the tension of the day began to melt away. I poured myself a glass of wine, put my apron on, and set to work. The chopping, mixing, tasting and altering, all started to soothe me in their usual way and by the time the peppers were ready to come out of the oven, I was feeling pretty good.
It turned out to be everything I had imagined: creamy sweetness from the salmon and goat cheese contrasting beautifully with the spicy kick of the roasted peppers.
The perfect aah-life-just-got-a-little-better food.
10 large jalapeños
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), soaked and chopped
4 oz creamy goat cheese
½ cup grated cheddar
1 6oz can wild Alaskan salmon
1 Tbsp parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cover the sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water and let sit 7-10 minutes.
Slice the stems off the jalapeños and cut a thin strip along one side of each one making sure not to pierce the whole jalapeño. You want to be able to take all the seeds and membranes out, but have it hold together enough to hold the stuffing. (Note: Make sure you take all seeds and membranes out as those hold the spiciest part of the pepper. I would also recommend doing this with gloves; I decided to ignore this little piece of advice and my fingers burned for a couple hours afterward.)
Once the tomaotes are soft, chop them into small pieces. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except for the jalapeños. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Stuff the jalapeños with the mixture and set in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating once.
Serve as an appetizer or as dinner after a rough day. These little poppers will make your life better - I promise!