Italian Medallions


The last time I craved peperoncini’s I was three months pregnant.  Yikes! 

The Wild Boar and I were on vacation in Waikiki and there happened to be an Italian restaurant in our hotel serving a beautiful buffet dinner every evening.  

We went inside to check it out.  I took one look at the peperoncini’s and I had to have them.  I previously had no craving for them. 

The peperoncini’s sat on the buffet table in a beautiful crystal dish with a slotted spoon, I swear there was even a light shining down on them.  I scooped up every last one onto my plate and told the bus boy the bowl was empty and to have it refilled.  He did.  I went back at least two more times.

Every night, for ten nights, we went back to the same restaurant.  Due to nausea, I had pretty much not eaten anything for the previous three months.  I think this is why the Wild Boar agreed to return to the same place every evening.  I was finally eating something, even if it was peperoncini’s.

I did not look pregnant and was very thin.  The waiters watched and wondered why this woman was devouring plate fulls and plate fulls of peperoncini’s with such an incredible appetite.  Of course they said nothing as they continually removed plates and plates of peperoncini stems from the table. 

We were paying twenty-five dollars per person so I could sit and eat those peppers every night.  On our last evening there, we walked in the restaurant and the head waiter approached me with this deer in headlights expression. 

He very nicely said, “Madame, I am sorry to say but we have no peperoncini’s this evening.”  I sadly asked why and he quickly replied, “With all do respect, you ate them all”.  I could have died.

We left and went to Duke’s on the beach.

Anyways, yesterday I was craving peperoncini’s with a vengeance.  There was a jar in the cupboard but I wanted something with them.  Something crunchy, something cheesy.

After checking the pantry and cheese drawer I put together these Italian Medallions.  They are simple but full of flavor and are a cinch to throw together.

Let’s make them together.

You will need:  A baguette. mozzarella cheese, fontina cheese, tomatoes, peperoncini’s, extra virgin olive oil, fresh oregano, fresh marjoram and salt.

First thing you want to do is cut your bread into 1/2″ inch slices and paint with extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle the bread with 1 teaspoon of salt.
 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake bread for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

When the bread comes out of the oven, take mozzarella and fontina cheese and sprinkle generously on each slice.

Now turn the broiler on low and place the bread with the cheese on top on the oven rack, about six inches down for three minutes. 

DO NOT, AND I REPEAT, DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE BROILER!  KAY!

Because, if you walk away from the broiler when your kids ask you to reset their Playstation 3, this is what happens.  No one was happy with the fifteen smoke alarms going off.  The house still stinks.

But if you don’t walk away and actually pay attention to what you are doing, your cheese will be warm, gooey and melty as you sprinkle the bread with chopped tomatoes, sliced peperoncini’s, fresh oregano and fresh marjoram.

The fontina and the mozzarella together make this a wonderfully melded dish.

The peperoncini’s and fresh herbs really take this dish up in flavor.

A little tangy, a little salty and then heightened by the fresh herbs.  Simplicity at it’s best.

Italian Medallions

1 baguette sliced into 1/2″ inch pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1-1/2 cups fontina cheese, shredded
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup peperoncini’s, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice baguette into 1/2″ slices and place on a baking sheet.  Paint each slice with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until slices are crispy and golden brown.

Top each slice of bread with fontina and mozzarella cheese.  Turn the broiler on low and place bread back in the oven 6″ from the heating element.  Broil for three minutes or until cheese is bubbling.  Watch carefully and do not walk away.

When out of the broiler transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle bread with tomatoes, peperoncini’s, fresh oregano and fresh marjoram.

Serve immediately.

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78 Comments

  1. Yes, yes, yes! Gorgeous colours and flavours. Too bad about the burnt ones… 😉

    Reply
  2. HoneyB 2

    Those Italian Medallions look delish!

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  3. Lori 3

    That’s a funny story. I can’t believe that you ate at the same restaurant for all those nights in a row. That’s good though that you had your appetite back. I hope you got to try some other places around here for lunch! :)

    Reply
  4. That is too funny. I’m not sure if I’d laugh or die on the spot if a waiter told me I hate all of the pepperoncini in the restaurant.

    Hope the only bread is these delicious looking rounds and not the bun in the oven. They look great and maybe the craving was just due to the inner feeling that you were going to make Italian Medallions very soon and how nicely they would go with pepperoncini.

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  5. I’ve never had a pepperoncini! I’m not a big pepper person as they tend to…repeat on me. So to speak.

    Re: your smoke alarms – we have a joke in my family – when my sister’s smoke alarm goes off, dinner is ready!

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  6. Too funny! I’m glad to know I have company in burnt bread. I can smell it from here! By the way, are you???

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  7. everything is so beautiful..i would be needing some of this for my cocktail party tonight :-)

    ps, i agree with you never be distracted while cooking..i had similar disaster in the kitchen too :-)

    Reply
  8. Barbie with a T 8

    That is why I always buy two loaves of bread at the store. In case I mess one up in the oven, I can still try again! I am a famous arsonist in the kitchen when it comes to broiling bread. These look yummy and I must have some soon.

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  9. Shirley 9

    What a hoot of a story–priceless. Your recipe looks divine! I’ve been known to burn bread, too. In many cases of bread and cookies (shock … gasp), I’ve been known to grate off the burnt portion if it’s not a lot and I can’t taste “burnt” after I’ve used the grater. Your forgotten ones were too far gone though. LOL

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  10. Oh, these look nice! A great combination of flavors!

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  11. Melissa 11

    This is like an Italian version of nachos – looks fabulous!

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  12. Suzette 12

    Beautiful! They look like Italian nachos. They must be a big hit at parties.

    Reply
  13. Those look fabulous. That’s what we’ll do tonight with drinks. Brilliant!!

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  14. Jules 14

    Looks good!!

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  15. That story is too funny!!!! And, yum.

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  16. The closeups are making me drool.

    And LOL at the waiter having to do an intervention!

    I went into labor by eating garlic jalapeno pizza.

    Reply
  17. Claudia 17

    No way am I making these. You said the word ‘pregnant’ – you jinxed the recipe, I know it, everyone who makes it will be pregnant!! * does a sign of warding off evil with her fingers * Where is your MIL??! She would agree!!

    Reply
  18. Jody 18

    I love, love, love these lil’ peppers!
    Great story and thank you for the recipe.
    I will make this for my housewarming!!!

    Reply
  19. That picture in the middle is real wake up call!
    What a great story about Hawaii!
    These look really great! But yeah, I’m all about melty cheese!

    Reply
  20. Leah Q 20

    Excellent recipe – photos make it look extra good (very funny photo of burnt bread)….do keep us informed if you are preggers…. lol

    Reply
  21. Harmony 21

    Ha! I had to laugh out at the head waiter notifying you that there were no more peperoncini’s. This looks amazing…I love the colors.

    Reply
  22. ELRA 22

    I love them too!
    That photo of your black crouton looks very apetizing, L O L!

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  23. ELRA 23

    Arghh,
    forgot to ask a very important question…
    ARE YOU PREGNANT?

    Reply
  24. Aww! I hope you are pregnant! You make cute boys!

    :)

    Love the burnt toast picture!

    Reply
  25. gotta love the forgotten broiler
    I love pep’s so does my hubs and we never like the same things. I want to make this tonight. Thank you for sharing you life and mishaps (pepperoncinis and possible pregnancies) so we can have a nice apperativo tonight!!!

    Reply
  26. krysta 27

    burnt bread, oh yeah been there… it’s not to greedy to want to eat the whole plate for dinner? and not share?

    Reply
  27. This looks fabulous! I am really enjoying your writing style, recipes and photography. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  28. Dragon 29

    Well, if you are pregnant, you all ready know you make beautiful kids, so all’s good. :)

    How do you make the burnt bread look good? LOL!

    Reply
  29. Marcy 30

    Hmm, those look good , eve though i’m not a big pepper fan. So , when are you going to tell us if you are pregnant or not?? Inquiring minds want to know!!

    Reply
  30. mmm, I love peppers, I can’t believe you ate the restaurant out! That’s funny

    Reply
  31. holy crap woman.
    you’re going to inspire me to cook.
    and that’s sayin’ somethin.

    Reply
  32. Louise 33

    Those look simply luscious! I’ll certainly give them a try. My kids simply cringe as soon as they see me making garlic bread, as they know that awful look and smell of the burnt bread. Now I only make garlic bread under the broiler when we have guests over, as I’ve not yet done the full smoke alarm scene in front of others.

    Reply
  33. Greg 34

    Those look really good, especially the pretty black ones (just kidding). I also see by the cheeses that you use that you still have access to a Nugget. Go Nugget! My new favorite breakfast is a baguette, roma tomato, salt, and Gruyere, 2 minutes under the broiler. I think that dish may be related to yours :)

    -Greg

    Reply
  34. MMMMMMmmmmmmm! I’m not sure I have any peppers on hand (had five kids already, not “expecting” any more), but I’m envisioning all the rest of the goodies down there in the kitchen and my mouth waters as I write! Your photos are fabulous. (I’m picking up pointers.) I think I know what we’re having for lunch … ; )

    p.s. Loved the story of the peperoncini craving — CLASSIC! (Any news to share?)

    Reply
  35. Neen 36

    Great story, especially the waiter’s line “With all due respect, you ate them all.” LOVE IT!

    Reply
  36. hmmm! Those look so yummy! I have started slicing bread and will now go look for cheese!

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  37. Yummy to my tummy! I’m definitely gonna make these! Your pictures are to die for. My sister also ate pepperoncini like mad when she was pregnant. That’s kind of strange.

    Reply
  38. I’m not really into peppers of any kind, with the exception of sweet bell pepper anyway, but that dish looks really yummy. As for your cravings while pregnant, if that waiter had walked up to me and said that I think I would have been to mortified to go eat somewhere else lol.

    Reply
  39. KathyB. 40

    This is so funny ! Imagine the jokes about you the restaurant staff were sharing behind the scenes…..and then the obvious discussions about WHO had to tell you why there were no more pepperoncini. Maybe they were relieved when you left and then got out their ‘secret stash’ of pepperoncini. Though really, I bet you were very entertaining and charming and they were sorry to be out of your cravings ! KathyB.

    Reply
  40. Hahahaha you ate them all! I would have fallen over laughing!

    This looks so good. I could seriously eat a whole loaf of this stuff myself.

    Reply
  41. Uh-huh… Did anyone give you the evil eye!???

    Reply
  42. dawn 43

    I never would have thought to use these peppers this way. I know that sounds like totally dumb, but I rarely use those peppers for anything else but pizza and salads or straight out of the jar. I love these just as much as you do.

    Reply
  43. Yum! Looks great – gorgeous colours. Simple and delicious dish; the best there is!

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  44. marye 45

    those.look.great.

    😉

    Reply
  45. I hope you are! Another little hooligan would be very nice really, don’t you think? It really wouldn’t matter if it was a pink one or a blue one either; it would just be adorable.
    I am salivating over those medalions, so pray tell what shall we drink with them? And oh by the way what’s for desert?
    Your story about the buffet is hysterical.

    Reply
  46. leslie 47

    You Buffet Buster you!!!

    Reply
  47. Kevin 48

    Those look simple and good! I often end up with burnt toast like that…

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  48. It looks great.
    I will remind Betty not to walk away from the broiler even if the phone rings.

    Reply
  49. pam 50

    Lol! I’ve had broiler mishaps like that. They are not fun!

    Reply
  50. I walked away from the broiler just yesterday. It was for toasting pita bread to use to dip in homemade hummus.

    Speaking of which, got a good hummus recipe? Cuz mine turned out crappy.

    Reply
  51. My husband adores peperoncini! I will surely make this for him! Do you really think you might be preggo?? I’m excited!!

    Reply
  52. Cassie 53

    Congratulations!!!!!! 3 months of nausea and a craving!

    I loooooove peperocinis! I always have jarS (plural) on hand. I eat them right out of the jar. Sooo good!

    Reply
  53. You’re a hoot…and this looks delish!

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  54. Egghead 55

    Oh when I saw that black bread I had to laugh out loud. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have burnt stuff like that without paying attention. These look delicious.

    Reply
  55. When’s the baby due? Your boy are so cute, I do hope you have a girl. 😉

    In other news, I cannot broil bread…that black stuff??? I must have been vicariously in charge of it! Burn it EVERY time!

    Reply
  56. Flea 57

    Bwahahaha! You poor thing! My Little Guy burned popcorn in the microwave three weeks ago and the smell has just disappeared. I’ve done everything to get rid of it.

    The recipe looks delicious. And pregnant? Maybe?

    Reply
  57. grace 58

    that’s the blackest bread i’ve ever seen–you even burn things well. :)

    Reply
  58. yum! and i’ve never even eaten a peperoncini. you’re tempting me to broaden my horizons and that’s saying something because i have the palate of a 7-year-old.

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  59. Alisa 60

    Those look yummy.

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  60. Kristen 61

    Uh oh…. I’ll be watching closely over the next couple of weeks 😉

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  61. Tipper 62

    That would make anyone crave peperoncinis!

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  62. These look awesome! I am craving them now, and I’m not pregnant . . .

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  63. krysta 64

    hey cathy, i adapted this recipe for dinner tonight by adding a over easy egg. oh dear lord! it was soooooo good and i have a happy and full belly.

    Reply
  64. The recipe looks great, but what makes the post is the REALNESS of it. I don’t mean to relish in your pain, but the burned batch was just so GREAT – REAL. I hate when that happens.

    Keep up the good realness Cathy!

    Reply
  65. Laura 66

    That is simply the funniest pregnancy craving story I have ever heard.

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  66. I want one of these! Argh, this is no fair! I have to go to bed soon and I have no peperoncinis on hand. I’m going to have to buy some tomorrow.

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  67. You should by shares in the pepperoncini company:D

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  68. Deborah 69

    Well, I am pregnant, and I’m pretty sure I could eat a whole plate of these!!

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  69. SO, i have a free pass to eat a crap-load of these, right?

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  70. jules 71

    You definitely must have patience when it comes to broiling…have you had Muffaletto (spell?)–various olives chopped in olive oil..great spead on the crostini topped with melted cheese too….now I must go and make something to eat!

    Reply
  71. Liz C. 72

    Funny story! I can’t wait to try this… it’s right up my alley.

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  72. Philly 73

    Having company this weekend and this is on the menu

    Thanks
    #1

    Reply
  73. Philly 74

    Ok, I made these yesterday, they were delicious !!!!! However, I roasted the tomatoes and peppers a few minutes
    Thanks again !!

    Reply
  74. Misha 75

    italian nachos…lol – they look phenominal

    Reply
  75. snowmoonelk 76

    I am such an ignoramus! Bought a jar of these from my local Lidl store. They weren’t called peperoncini, can’t remember what they were called, however, didn’t know what to use them for, and as they weren’t that nice out of the jar, I THREW THEM AWAY!!! (sobs quietly into sleeve) Wish I’d come across your very funny and wonderful blog earlier. We get red peperoncini (sometimes stuffed with cheese) and they are sweet and hot, are these the same?

    Reply
  76. Samantha 77

    Soooo funny… I AM pregnant and have been eating JARS of pepperocinis…that is basically all that I have eaten since i just got past a rather unpleasant first trimester!! I actually stumbled across your site by googling “pepperocinis pregnancy” to make sure that I am not inadvertantly poisoning my unborn child with all of the vinegar LOL thanks to you and this recipe, i can at least mask my raging pepperocini addiction with a yummy recipe that others too can enjoy without burning thier tastebuds off and without sidelong worried glances in my direction as I inhale yet another bottle !! :) Thanks!!

    Reply
  77. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

    Reply

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