Spicy, briny, creamy, and salty, this simple, retro-inspired appetizer is an unabashed crowd-pleaser. The peppers can be stuffed ahead of time, but be sure to wrap them in smoked salmon just before serving.
Stuffed Pepperoncini with Smoked Salmon
Spicy, briny, creamy, and salty, this simple, prep-ahead, retro-inspired appetizer is an unabashed crowd-pleaser.
Yield: makes about 18
1 (12-oz.) jar whole pepperoncini (about 18 peppers), drained
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. crème fraîche, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp. finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
2 tsp. lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 6-by-1-inch strips
Make a 1-inch incision lengthwise in each pepperoncino. If you like, remove and discard the seeds. Dry peppers with paper towels; set aside. Mix cream cheese, crème fraîche, chives, zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl; transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch tip. Pipe 1–1 1⁄2 tbsp. filling into peppers. Wrap a strip of salmon around each pepper and secure with a toothpick; garnish with more crème fraîche and chives, if you like.