In Quebec, appetizers are called entrees. In the ROC (Rest of Canada), entrees are the main dish. Life is confusing for more than just this reason. Eat these as an appetizer, entree, snack or whatever you want to call that meal.
I found a bag of mini bell peppers at my favourite grocery store and immediately knew I wanted to stuff them. I was feeling ambitious, so I set out to make a cashew cheese. I have dreams of becoming an artisan vegan cheesemaker, but hesitate to use too many cashews since Husband is so allergic. It’s a big process when I use nuts in the house to make sure everything is clean and there’s no risk of cross-contamination.
These are just so delicious. I don’t know what more to say. Try them for your next party – they’ll knock your guest’s socks off.
Spicy Cashew Queso Blanco
Makes 2 cups
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup water
Juice of 3 limes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, stems included
4 green onions, roughly chopped, white parts included
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a food processor or high powered blender, start to break down the cashews. Once they’ve been broken up, add the water, cilantro, green onions and nutritional yeast. Next, combine all spices, garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle and grind until the garlic starts to break down. Add the spice mixture to the cashews and blend until thoroughly combined. If you feel the cashews are becoming creamy enough, add a little more water. Grind for at least 4 minutes or until desired texture is achieved. Set aside and chill until ready to use.
15 to 20 mini bell peppers, tops off and seeds cleaned out
Boston lettuce, for wrapping and lining
Cashew queso blanco
Fill a ziplock or piping bag with the cashew cheese. Twist a half piece of lettuce around your index finger and stuff bell pepper with that. Using the ziplock bag with the tip cut off or the piping bag, fill each bell pepper with cheese, so it just reaches the top. Alternatively, stuff the peppers with the cheese and wrap lettuce around the outside.