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.
Christie @ fig&cherry says
Yes, yes, yes! Gorgeous colours and flavours. Too bad about the burnt ones… 😉
Those Italian Medallions look delish!
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! 🙂
Rachel (S[d]OC) says
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.
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!
Mental P Mama says
Too funny! I’m glad to know I have company in burnt bread. I can smell it from here! By the way, are you???
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 🙂
Barbie with a T says
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.
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
Oh, these look nice! A great combination of flavors!
This is like an Italian version of nachos – looks fabulous!
Beautiful! They look like Italian nachos. They must be a big hit at parties.
Mary Coleman says
Those look fabulous. That’s what we’ll do tonight with drinks. Brilliant!!
Scary Mommy says
That story is too funny!!!! And, yum.
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.
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!!
I love, love, love these lil’ peppers!
Great story and thank you for the recipe.
I will make this for my housewarming!!!
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!
Leah Q says
Excellent recipe – photos make it look extra good (very funny photo of burnt bread)….do keep us informed if you are preggers…. lol
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.
I love them too!
That photo of your black crouton looks very apetizing, L O L!
forgot to ask a very important question…
ARE YOU PREGNANT?
[email protected] says
Aww! I hope you are pregnant! You make cute boys!
Love the burnt toast picture!
Tash Oysterblogger says
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!!!
burnt bread, oh yeah been there… it’s not to greedy to want to eat the whole plate for dinner? and not share?
Natasha Loeffler-Little says
This looks fabulous! I am really enjoying your writing style, recipes and photography. Thank you for sharing!
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!
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!!
Insane Mama says
mmm, I love peppers, I can’t believe you ate the restaurant out! That’s funny
Lindaloohoo - www.wheresmydamnanswer.com says
holy crap woman.
you’re going to inspire me to cook.
and that’s sayin’ somethin.
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.
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 🙂
Debbie in CA : ) says
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?)
Great story, especially the waiter’s line “With all due respect, you ate them all.” LOVE IT!
Mary Beth says
hmmm! Those look so yummy! I have started slicing bread and will now go look for cheese!
Pleasant Drive says
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coast Rat says
Uh-huh… Did anyone give you the evil eye!???
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.
Yum! Looks great – gorgeous colours. Simple and delicious dish; the best there is!
Karen Deborah says
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.
You Buffet Buster you!!!
Those look simple and good! I often end up with burnt toast like that…
Dr. John says
It looks great.
I will remind Betty not to walk away from the broiler even if the phone rings.
Lol! I’ve had broiler mishaps like that. They are not fun!
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.
Fun House Jennifer says
My husband adores peperoncini! I will surely make this for him! Do you really think you might be preggo?? I’m excited!!
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!
You’re a hoot…and this looks delish!
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.
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!
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?
that’s the blackest bread i’ve ever seen–you even burn things well. 🙂
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.
Those look yummy.
Uh oh…. I’ll be watching closely over the next couple of weeks 😉
That would make anyone crave peperoncinis!
Mozi Esme's Mommy says
These look awesome! I am craving them now, and I’m not pregnant . . .
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.
Wine Tasting Guy says
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!
That is simply the funniest pregnancy craving story I have ever heard.
Bellini Valli says
You should by shares in the pepperoncini company:D
Well, I am pregnant, and I’m pretty sure I could eat a whole plate of these!!
SO, i have a free pass to eat a crap-load of these, right?
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!
Liz C. says
Funny story! I can’t wait to try this… it’s right up my alley.
Having company this weekend and this is on the menu
Ok, I made these yesterday, they were delicious !!!!! However, I roasted the tomatoes and peppers a few minutes
Thanks again !!
italian nachos…lol – they look phenominal
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?
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!!
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