The nontraditional combo of Spanish peppers with a tangy cheddar and bread crumbs makes for an addictive appetizer--one that's even better with a cold beer. If you're subbing in sweet peppers, cut the cheese sticks a bit longer.
10 ounce large Padrón peppers (2 in. long; about 35 peppers) or 15 mini sweet peppers (3 in. long)
3 ounces tangy aged cheddar, cut into 1/4- by 1-in. sticks (we like bandage-wrapped Fiscalini or Tillamook special reserve)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
About 1/4 tsp. pepper
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°. Cut a slit down the side of each pepper to create a pocket; you don't need to seed peppers. Tuck some of the cheese into each pocket. Oil a medium, shallow baking dish with 2 tbsp. oil. Arrange peppers, cut side up, in a single layer.
Combine panko, paprika, and remaining 2 tbsp. oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle mixture over stuffed peppers. Bake until panko browns and peppers soften, 10 to 20 minutes.
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