This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.
It’s no secret that cheese is a favorite ingredient in the foodie tots kitchen. Whether we’re enjoying a comfort food mac-and-cheese night or a nutritious after school snack of apples and cheddar, you can bet that our cheese drawer is rarely found empty. And here’s a little secret: cheese is often an easy way I can encourage the kids to try a new or previously unpopular vegetable. The boy was first turned on to salad by the introduction of Caesar salad. It’s hard to turn down lettuce topped with parmesan, croutons and a creamy dressing, right? A grating of parmesan also improves the taste of asparagus, and we’ve been known to dip broccoli and cauliflower into hot cheese fondue.
As the temperature is heating up and our farmers markets are kicking into high gear for the summer, I wanted to come up with something new for our family dinner table that incorporated fresh seasonal produce. The tot has recently discovered that she loves red peppers, as long as we call them “sweet peppers” and not “bell peppers.” (It’s all about the marketing, sometimes!) One of our favorite vendors will soon have sweet peppers in nearly every color in the rainbow; the mild yellow and purple ones are particular favorites. Until we can get those, we’re making do with these sweet mini peppers at the supermarket. Stuffed peppers -– especially these kid-sized ones — make for a fun and kid-friendly dinner entrée or an appetizer for a summer dinner party. The filling for these cheesy stuffed peppers was inspired by another favorite summer treat at market, crab-and-corn dip. We’re not far from the Chesapeake Bay and its famed blue crabs, and the region is also known for summer sweet corn. The two make a lovely pairing even before you add cheese into the mix. Or three cheeses, to be precise — the crab mixture starts with a creamy mascarpone base, then I added equal parts of Asiago and Colby cheeses to compliment the sweet corn and crab.
There are several steps the kids can help with — scraping seeds out of the halved peppers, grating cheese, and scooping and pressing the filling into each pepper half (as long as you’re prepared for things to get a little messy.) After stuffing the pepper halves with a generous scoop of the cheesy corn and crab mixture, I topped each with parsley and breadcrumbs and then another sprinkle of Asiago cheese. The peppers go into the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. I like to serve them with rice and a big side salad to round out our dinner.
When it comes to cheese, we do choose Wisconsin Cheese often. I had the chance to visit Wisconsin cheesemakers two years ago, and the kids often ask, “Is that Wisconsin cheese?” when I’m pulling a wedge out of the fridge for snack time. The state has a long and storied history of cheesemaking, and today makes over 600 varieties of American, international-style and original cheeses. What’s your favorite?
Cheesy Crab Stuffed Peppers
Makes 4 servings
- 8 smaller peppers (2 to 3-inches tall) or 4 regular sized (4-inches)
- 1/4 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Asiago cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Colby cheese, shredded
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed
- 8 ounces lump crab meat
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare peppers by cutting in half lengthwise (stem to bottom) and scraping out seeds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parsley. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together garlic and mascarpone. Gently fold in Colby cheese,1/4 cup Asiago cheese, crab meat and corn. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide crab mixture evenly among the peppers. Cover filling with a spoonful of breadcrumbs and sprinkle the remaining Asiago cheese over top. Drizzle peppers with olive oil.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Hungry for more? Find Wisconsin Cheese inspiration on Pinterest, and check out the below recipes from fellow Sunday Supper bloggers!
- Cheese Crispies by Shockingly Delicious
- Cheese Fondue by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Prosciutto Havarti Spinach Bundles by Daily Dish Recipes
Main Dishes with Cheese:
- Cheese Curd Stuffed Meatball Sliders by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Cheesy Crab Stuffed Peppers by FoodieTots
- Cheesy Skillet Lasagna by Life Tastes Good
- Cheesy Vegetable Enchiladas by Alida’s Kitchen
- Fontina Chorizo Spinach Quiche by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Ham, Blackberry Ricotta, and Fresh Mozzarella Grilled Cheese by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Korean-style Poutine 2.0 by kimchi MOM
- Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Couscous Salad with Arugula by Ruffles & Truffles
- Pimento Cheese Potato Soup by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Sausage and Burrata Pasta by Family Foodie
Cheese Side Dishes:
- Cheesy Jalapeno and Bacon Potato Au Gratin by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Chipotle Beer Mac & Cheese by One Sweet Mess
- White Mac and Cheese by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Coconut Lime Cheese Crepes with Brandied Cherry Topping by The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Ricotta Cheesecake Brownies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
10 Ideas for Cheese Dip Dippers by Sunday Supper Movement
Love to cook with cheese? Wisconsin Cheese is also sponsoring a recipe contest to send one lucky winner to the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida, this summer. Check out the details.
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