Like pepperoncini, pickled fefferoni peppers add a spicy tang to dishes -- the difference is that the Tuscan peppers rate only a mild 100 to 500 Scoville heat units, while ferreroni, made from Hungarian wax chiles, measure 5,000 to 10,000 units. Fefferoni's heat -- typically about 4 times less hot than a jalapeno's -- allows you to use them in the same way you would pepperoncini, as long as you're prepared for the extra zing.
Fefferoni brightens a party buffet table with spicy hot flavor. Nibbles to serve with the peppers include:
- Eggplant and garlic spread with a few tablespoons of fefferoni pureed into the mix.
- Plain fefferoni arrayed on an antipasto tray along with other hors d'oeuvres such as olives, salami, cheese and crackers.
- Fefferoni stuffed with creamed cheese.
Different brands of fefferoni have different levels of heat. Buy a few jars and taste the peppers to decide which you like best.
Just as you would add regular pickles to your favorite sandwiches, you can substitute fefferoni to add the same brightness, crunch and tang. Experiment with slicing the peppers or adding them, either finely or coarsely chopped, to these sandwiches:
- Chicken salad
- Deviled egg
- Grilled or plain cheese
- Ham or roast beef
- Hamburgers and hot dogs
- Peanut butter -- for adventurous eaters only
Ferreroni can substitute for capers or pickles in salads to enliven everyday ingredients. Add anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of the peppers to these dishes:
- Chopped salads with meat, cheese and vegetables
- Green salads, along with sliced carrots and tomatoes
- Potato or pasta salad
- Whole grain salads made with lentils, brown rice or farro
Use fefferoni as a garnish for main courses or as one of the ingredients to add depth of flavor, and balance fats with acidity and sourness in the dishes. The peppers work well in:
- Scrambled eggs or omelets, along with cheese such as cheddar, Swiss or jack
- Meat stews, such as a white bean chili with chicken or a Hungarian goulash with beef and mushrooms.
- Pasta dishes, with white beans, shredded chicken or pork
- Pizza, as long as you keep the pie simple with just cheese or sausage, so the peppers don't clash with other ingredients
Make your own fefferoni by pickling the Hungarian wax peppers in a brine of vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar. Add other vegetables, such as carrots or cauliflower to make giardiniera, an Italian mix of pickled vegetables.