Once upon a time, I lived in Buffalo, NY. We had a great eight years together, Buffalo and I. During that time, I was able to enjoy classic dishes at many of the beloved Buffalo food haunts: chicken wings at Duff’s, beef on weck from Charlie the Butcher, custard at Anderson’s, hot dogs at Ted’s, chicken wings at Frank and Teressa’s Anchor Bar, pizza from Bocce’s, tacos from Mighty Taco, spaghetti parm from Chef’s, loganberry, sponge candy and chicken wings from plenty of other places that claim they have the best.
So: How the heck did I NOT KNOW that Buffalonians also are crazy for stuffed banana peppers? It comes down to one of these two thoughts:
- Buffalo was not in the least bit known for stuffed banana peppers while I lived there, a long, long time ago.
- I was unwise and immature while I lived in Buffalo, and did not yet have any idea of how much I would LOVE banana peppers sometime in the distant future.
It might be due to just #2, but I’ve got the gut feeling that both are fact. I’m now dreaming of visiting Buffalo again, stopping quickly at my beloved Duff’s for some medium-to-hots (and fries with gravy on the side), and then going on a quest to hunt down the best stuffed banana peppers.
I have always HATED bell peppers, and therefore I’ve been biased against various other pepper varieties. I’m not exactly sure when I started loving the spicy hot, pickled, day-glo green vegetable. I’m also not sure what gave me the idea to use stuffed peppers as a basis for a creative grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a little out there: Instead of bread crumbs, use bread. Put the peppers inside the sandwich instead of out. It’s not really a stuffed pepper anymore, but flavor-wise, it definitely worked! I was the only one that ate the grilled cheese (the rest of the fam just hasn’t grown to love banana peppers as I have). But it was delish, and I made it again the next day, and now I’m ready for that tour of Buffalo food joints. Who’s with me?
Stuffed Banana Pepper Grilled Cheese
Serves: one sandwich
- 6 slices of pickled banana peppers, chopped
- 1 link of chicken sausage
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sourdough bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp shredded gouda cheese
- 4 slices gouda cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 2 Tbsp mayo
Heat a panini press. Remove sausage from the casing and saute in olive oil. Chop three of the banana peppers and add to the sausage. Stir in some crumbs from the sourdough bread. Add chicken stock to moisten, and add shredded parmesan cheese. Build the sandwich on one slice of sourdough by topping with two slices of gouda, then the sausage mixture, then the three remaining slices of banana pepper, then two more slices of gouda, then the other slice of bread. Coat the outside of the sandwich with mayo, and grill on the panini press until crispy and gooey.