Stuffed Peppers

I have been craving stuffed peppers.  My mom used to make these and I hated them.  I didn’t mind what was inside but did not like those peppers.  I guess my taste buds have changed – died due to the aging process 🙂 but I love peppers now.  I used green bell peppers today but I think next time I will use red, orange and yellow.  I also would like to try some other peppers besides the bell variety.  This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes to bake.   I found this recipe at  America’s Test Kitchen.  It reminds me of my mom’s recipe.  Here goes;

Classic Stuffed Peppers
(just like mom’s)

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4 green, red, yellow, orange bell peppers, 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded (I used 6 green, they were small to medium size and on sale this week!)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1# ground beef (or any ground meat.  If you don’t want meat add more veggies and/or rice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained – 1/4 cup juice set aside for later use
5 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
Salt and pepper

Directions

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1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.

2.  Bring 4 quarts water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to boil in large stockpot over high heat.  When water boils,  add your peppers.  02062014 006Cook until peppers begin to soften, 3-5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon.
3.  Set the peppers upside down on paper towels to drain water, then flip over as soon as drained.
4.  Return water to a boil, add 1/2 cup of rice and boil until tender or 12 minutes.  Drain rice into colander and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
5.  While the rice is cooking heat a 12 inch heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat until hot, add oil and swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
6.  Transfer mixture to the bowl with rice, stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
7.  In a small bowl stir together the ketchup and remaining tomato juice.
8.  Place peppers cut side up in 9 inch square baking dish. 02062014 009 Fill each pepper with meat/rice mixture.  Spoon 2 Tablespoons of ketchup mixture over tope of each filled pepper, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.02062014 013

Don’t limit yourself to the classic stuffing.  You could use any kind of ground meat, different cheeses, grains, veggies.  The list is endless.  Hope you enjoy this simple and delicious comfort food meal!!

 

 

Kyopolou – Bulgarian Eggplant Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Here is a simple and delicious dip.  Martin requested it this weekend.  Another Bulgarian treat.

Kyopolou

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Ingredients

2 Globe Eggplants, roasted
3 medium tomatoes, roasted
4 red bell peppers (you could do 2 green and 2 red.  Next time I will do that.), roasted
4-6 clove of garlics, minced (I used 6 – you could roast the garlic, too)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil or sunflower oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

  1.  Cut eggplant in half lengthwise.  Cut deeps slits in flesh. NOvember 006 Bake in oven 400 degrees for up to an hour.  When you can put knife through flesh easily, put under broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown flesh.  NOvember 009
  2. Roast tomatoes at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Put under broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown lightly.NOvember 008
  3. Roast peppers in oven or over stove.  I roasted over burner on stove.  NOvember 007You could also roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and put under broiler 3-5 minutes.
  4. When all veggies are roasted.  Chop the tomatoes and roasted peppers.  Take flesh out of eggplant and chop also.  Mince the garlic cloves. Place all chopped vegetables in large bowl.
  5. Add oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Place in refrigerator for a couple of hours.  The longer you let it set, the better it will be.
  6. Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.  Toasting the bread is a great way it too!

Enjoy this flavorful Bulgarian dip.  Let me know what you think! Ciao!!