Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Peppadew To-dos

There is a mysterious little pepper, native to South Africa, called the peppadew.

Like Kleenex, Dobro and Dumpster, “Peppadew” is both a brand name and a common name. It describes a sweet piquanté pepper, jar-packed in vinegary juice, that is vibrant red and the size of a doll-house teacup. You can fill your peppadew cups with any number of tasty ingredients that compliment their sweet and spicy taste – soft goat cheese is my current favorite. You can also dot your peppadews on top of pizza, cut them in half to layer in a sandwich, or simply pluck them from the jar and pop them in your mouth. After making a heroic effort to determine exactly what peppadews are (uncovering sources that identify the fruit as a pepper-tomato cross and a pepper hybrid), Confabulist transforms them into an attractive appetizer with aged cheddar and soppressata. Jeanne at Cook Sister! hails from the same South African province as the person who discovered wild peppadews, and bakes lovely-looking peppadew and parmesan muffins. These ideas surely only scratch the surface of peppadew possibilities.

When a friend recently told me her new South African cookbook had a recipe for feta and peppadew muffins, well, these muffins quickly made my list of peppadew to-dos. Like any self-respecting food blog reader, you probably have a muffin tin in your kitchen cabinet. I must shamefully admit, however, that a muffin tin did not accompany me across the Atlantic. So, I made this recipe as if it were a quick bread and, voilà – Feta and Peppadew Bread. By all means, make muffins if you wish. Either way, your finished product will epitomize “rustic,” with chunks of peppadew, feta and spring onion peeking out from under the crust. It is a savory bread, and the bites of peppadew steal the show.

Feta and Peppadew Bread
Adapted from Sprigs: Fresh Kitchen Inspiration
Makes one loaf

500 grams cake flour
25 milliliters / 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
400 grams feta cheese, crumbled
12 peppadews, quartered
3 spring onions (a.k.a. scallions), sliced
Salt and black pepper, to taste (be generous)
2 eggs
100 milliliters / 2/5 cup water
100 milliliters / 2/5 cup milk
100 grams butter, melted

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit). In a medium bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, feta cheese, peppadews, spring onions, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, milk and butter. Gently stir this egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Spoon into a greased loaf pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the bread out onto a plate and let it cool. Slice and serve slightly warm, with a thin layer of butter.


Alanna said...

Looks great! What DID make your kitchen list (and why) would be a fasting post some time ... BTW just checked, the cookbook doesn't seem to be available in the US yet. But I'm hoping!

Carolyn said...

Hi Alanna,

I'm afriad it wouldn't be a very long post...we brought a saucepan, a frypan, a good knife - and that is it! Luckily, we moved into a furnished home that had other basic kitchen essentials, and we have slowly acquired new items from friends who have left the country. And, thankfully, a friend visiting South Africa brought me back an immersion blender - the one kitchen appliance I can't live without!

Thanks for reading, Alanna!

Jeanne said...

Now there's an idea... Feta and Peppadew bread! I must try that. But I really do recommend that you try the peppadew & parmesan muffins too - they are practically flop-proof and universally adored :-) And I'm sure they could do double duty as a bread as well.