This little appetizer is great for when you are hosting a dinner or when you want to bring something along to a BBQ. It's a total crowd pleaser, tastes delicious, and is super easy and quick to whip up. You can use any round chili peppers you can find. I like these cherry bomb peppers, because they are on the milder side, but you can also use much spicier ones such as Fresno or jalapeños. Go with what you can find. In order to offset the heat from the chili, you want a lot of lime in the cashew cream, so just follow the recipe, and don't worry about how much lime juice I am asking you to put in there :-).
A note on the chilis: even though these are not super hot, your hands will burn if you open them up, and scoop out the seeds. I highly recommend you wear kitchen gloves for this process, and whatever you do, do not touch your eyes (or really any other part of your body) while also working with them.
Preparation time: 15 minutes + cashew soaking time
Makes 20 peppers:
1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked for at least 4 hours
zest of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water (and maybe a little more)
1/2 tsp sea salt
20 cherry bomb peppers
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
Drain the cashews, rinse them well, and add them to the food processor with the garlic, lime, and water. Process until smooth - this may take a couple of minutes. It should be creamy, without any rough bits of texture in your mouth. This is key for the peppers to taste good, so process as long as you need! If the blades are just running, but not much is happening, add a little bit more water.
Season with salt, and process again. Taste test, and decide if you need more lime or salt.
Cut off the top of the top of the peppers, then take a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds from the inside, and discard them.
Once all the peppers are hollowed out, you can take a teaspoon and stuff cashew cream into each.
Sprinkle with chopped chives, and serve. This will keep well in the fridge for a couple of hours if you want to prepare it ahead of time!