To say I wasn’t excited about this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (tuna-packed piquillo peppers, p174) would be an understatement. Tuna is one of those fish I simply cannot eat in any form – fresh or canned. It will always remind me of the dreaded “Tuna Mornay” that we used to have to eat as kids (sorry mum but I am sure you know what I mean!). To this day the canned tuna (that *ahem* someone in our household *sometimes* feeds to Miss Cleo), no matter how it is presented will make me think of that.
I also had the problem that I didn’t know where to get piquillo peppers but reading that they are on the sweeter, rather than spicier, side, I figured I could use the peppers we had growing in the garden. For this experiment, sourcing from 5 feet away seemed like a more practical thing than to run all over town looking for the jarred peppers (that’s how they tend to be sold).
But wait… just as I was setting all the ingredients out to make the tuna mixture (tuna, capers, olives, shallot, lemon zest and juice) I discovered a jar way at the back of the fridge that Neil had bought in the summer when I was away. Lo and behold – tuna-stuffed (hot) peppers in oil.
At that point, I seriously considered taking a few pictures and calling it a day. I was *this* close… I mean, noone would have known, right? Right. Except me. And our home-grown peppers were seriously too cute NOT to use..
And yes that’s a little Poterie NOT Frères ashtray that we bought this past summer that I am serving them in. It’s actually a dish we bought for Cleo (cats like flat dishes) but it’s so pretty I couldn’t resist (nice for olives too).
Anyway, onto the peppers. I served both my version (completely not what they are supposed to be like since fresh peppers are much crunchier (obviously!) than oil packed ones) alongside the jarred version. And guess what? The crisper, fresher version (that would be mine) was voted the favourite. I can certainly see the appeal of the ones packed in oil then drained and stuffed with tuna (if you like tuna, that is) but mine were fresher tasting and the taste-testers liked the crunch of the fresh pepper.
Will I make these again? No. Am I glad I tried it out? Of course. That’s what it’s all about. Happy weekend folks!
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (though this week, you can find the recipe online here), we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!
WORLDWIDE giveaway: Clotilde Dusoulier’s The French Market Cookbook (she of Chocolate & Zucchini). Closes Wednesday September 25th at 6pm EST.