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.
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.