Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cuneo Peppers

In the region surrounding Cuneo there grows a special pepper that has been prized by the people of Piemonte for ages. It looks more or less like a regular pepper but tends to be a bit larger than normal. The peppers are a seasonal delicacy arriving late July every year and they fetch three to four times the price of a normal bell pepper. The Piemontese prepare them in a number of different ways but “Sformato di Peperone” is very beautiful.

Seeds for Cuneo peppers can be purchased at Grow Italian.

“Sformato di Peperone Rosso”
Red Pepper Flan
2-3 large red peppers
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
2/3 cup of milk
3 large eggs
7 tablespoons grated Parmigiano
Salt and pepper
Grated nutmeg
Roast 2-3 red peppers in a 375° oven for 45 minutes. Remove peppers from the oven and place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to rest of ten minutes. Afterwards de-seed and peel the peppers and place in a sieve over a bowl and allow to drain for a couple of hours. Puree the peppers in a food processor or food mill.
Butter a bread pan or 4 individual ramkin molds.
The Béchamel:
In a pan over medium heat melt butter then add the flour and cook together for a couple of minutes to all the butter to start to cook the flour, then slowly add the milk whisking constantly. Add milk until the sauce is the consistency of gravy but not too thick. Remove from the heat.
Next whisk in the Red pepper puree followed by the beaten eggs and then the remaining ingredients.
Pour the mixture in to your molds and bake in the bain marie of a preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes or until the moulds are well set. Run a knife around the molds and invert onto a plate and serve immediately.


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