The Great Pepper Cookbook by Melissa’s Produce + Margarita Chile-Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Joe and Sharon Hernandez founded Melissa’s Produce using their experience in the produce industry. It started small – a small, rented produce warehouse lunchroom with three telephones and four chairs. In a few short years, the company would grow to occupy a newly renovated and expanded 280,000 square foot office, warehouse complex, and state-of-the-art CCOF/QAI Certified Organic Packing Facility. In Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc. warehouse, one is sure to find the freshest fruits and vegetables - quality products with exceptional value and first-class service. Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc. is currently the largest distributor of specialty produce in the United States.

Melissa’s Produce is also all-knowing about “the pepper”. And what better way to celebrate this sometimes “hot little number” than with a cookbook! The Great Pepper Cookbook acts as a primer of all varieties of peppers, both fresh and dried. There are beautiful color images of all varieties peppers, recipes and includes the “dreaded” Scoville chart heat rating. 150 delicious recipes will take you from appetizer to dessert (I’m serious, chile peppers in dessert!) Put down those jalapenos and take a walk on the wild side!

In the Appetizers, Snacks, and Drinks section, Crab-Stuffed Cucumber Cups are a party pleaser. Here are some added tips to help you during prep:

  • First, roast an ear of corn in the oven, 350 degrees for 30 minutes so it will be ready for the crab filling.
  • For the cucumber cups, after removing the middle of each cucumber and salting them, put the cucumber cups opening side down on paper towels. The salt will start to leach the water out from the cucumbers. It will save you from excess dabbing later in the process when adding the crab filling.
  • I could not find Manzano (or manzana) peppers in my local area so I substituted habanero peppers. I didn’t want to shock my guests with the spiciness of the pepper so I diced up two habaneros and it was perfect. The roasting process actually makes the pepper a little sweeter. The cream cheese and sour cream act as a cooling agent if you happen to get a large piece of habanero in your serving.
  • I substituted crab claw meat instead of the lump meat. Smart & Final sells the perfect size can for the recipe in the refrigerated section. It is much cheaper than the lump crab meat and it tastes great too.
To read more, see slideshow, and get the recipe for Margarita Chile-Cheesecake Bars, please visit: