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Author Notes: There is a little restaurant in Akumal Mexico called La Lunita that serves the fine dining needs of the village - mind you, this is the very best fine dining, the kind where your toes are in the sand, the food is fresh and local, and the service is friendly. Several years ago I had an unforgettable appetizer of a cheese stuffed ancho pepper with some salsa and some honey drizzle. I checked the menu and it's not on there right now, so I am using the memory as a starting point and going from there. This is a delicious light appetizer but can easily be made into an entree with the addition of a few shrimp, perhaps grilled in butter, adobo and lime. I am writing the recipe for 1 but you can double triple or whatever very easily as you will see. —aargersi
- 1 dried ancho chili
- 1-2 cup(s) apple juice (or enough to completely cover the ancho when you soak it)
- 1/4 cup creamy chevre
- 1 teaspoon adobo from the canned chilis in adobo
- 1 tablespoon honey (if you can get some of the super floral honey from the Yucatan, all the better)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- Start with the pepper. Immerse it completely in apple juice and allow to soften all the way. You can hurry this process with gentle heat, but I put mine in a Tupperware a day ahead and soaked over night, turning it halfway through. The chili should be very soft and pliable, and will lighten a bit in color.
- Make the gastrique - warm the honey and vinegar with the shallots and red pepper, and allow that to stand while you prepare the rest. Toast the almonds and set those aside.
- Mix the chevre and the adobo together. Cut a slit in the ancho and remove the seeds. Spread the inside of the ancho with the cheese mixture.
- To serve simply place the filled ancho on a plate, drizzle with gastrique and top with toasted almonds. So easy, so tasty!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spicy Recipe
More Great Recipes: Appetizers