There are two items that you will find on just about any menu in Buffalo. Chicken wings (obviously) and stuffed banana peppers. Stuffed banana peppers in this town are not your typical stuffed pepper with the rice and the meat filling. These are spicy, hot peppers with tons of melted cheese stuffed inside and some type of crumb to hold the filling together.
Every restaurant in the area has their own version… a different combination of ingredients to make this spicy appetizer their own. The filling is completely customizable, and chefs change it up by combining different cheeses, spices & herbs. They may choose to serve it with grilled crostini or a side of marinara sauce for dipping. You can start to see why Buffalonians (us included) eat this dish up.
But even better than an eating stuffed banana peppers before a meal, is eating them AS the meal. It was at Curry’s, a local restaurant, when I was introduced to “The Dibble,” a sandwich consisting of a cheese-stuffed, spicy pepper smothering a juicy piece of grilled chicken breast between two slices of crispy ciabatta bread. Of course, I had to order it. And it quickly turned into my new favorite sandwich. We had already developed our take on the appetizer, so I knew this would be a sandwich that we could successfully re-create at home.
This is a delicious and hearty sandwich that comes together fast, especially if you have leftover chicken already waiting in the fridge. If not, that’s ok too. Just bake up a couple of chicken breasts, seasoned with salt & pepper, in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or so, until the juices run clear.
Make this sandwich for dinner tonight. I promise you won’t regret it.