Out of the Blue Stuffed Peppers

Herblay, France

Hi all,
Friday was one of those days when the weather had changed and I wanted something warming, simple and tasty. Then out of the blue, I decided to buy some peppers and see what I could come up with.

peppers_1

It turned out to be stuffed peppers. Duh! This is not much of a recipe but a basic family style dish that can be adapted to your mood and whatever you have on hand. I loved stuffed peppers when I was a kid. My mom’s were very plain. They had ground pork or beef mixed with cooked rice, some onion and tomato sauce, a little parsley and if she was feeling creative, ‘Italian seasoning’ .

Here’s my basic version with extra suggestions. This made four very big stuffed peppers. I took  photos  but the result was grim. Tried again at lunch time the next day, only two peppers left and not the loveliest. In the end, I decided you’d rather look at some pretty peppers-but you can see my photo fail at the end of this post.
What you need:

Note: nothing is exact here!

4 large bell peppers
1 cup brown rice
1 onion chopped
300 grams (a little more than a quarter of a pound) sliced or chopped mushrooms
a small handful of pine nuts (or what you can afford-these babies are pricey!!!)
5 re hydrated sun dried tomatoes
1 soup spoon full of sun dried (or plain) tomato paste
handful of grated Parmesan cheese
small handful of chopped fresh parsley

salt, pepper, thyme to taste and a little oil for the pan

Cook the rice and set aside. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toast the pine nuts in an ungreased frying pan. Keep an eye on them. If you turn your back and start smelling something like popcorn, you’ve burned them. Experience talking here! When they’re done, throw them on top of the rice.

Now add a little oil to the frying pan, saute the onions until translucent and add the mushrooms. Stir frequently and cook until the mushrooms are limp. Chuck this on top of the rice too. Cut up the sun dried tomatoes (scissors work well) and add to the rest of the stuff. Add the Parmesan. Put the tomato paste in a little dish and add about half a cup of water. Mix that up and I think you can guess what to do next. Stir everything around and add salt, pepper and thyme. Taste and adjust. You might want more tomato sauce or more cheese etc. Just suit yourself.

Cut the tops off the peppers. Carefully slice off the…. I don’t know the proper name for it but its on the other side of the stem and holds all the seeds. Remove any large pithy ribs that might be inside the peppers. Now stuff the peppers with the rice filling and pop the tops back on.

Stand the peppers upright in a baking dish. Add water to come up about one and a half centimeters or about half an inch. Bake for forty-five minutes. If you like the peppers very soft make it an hour.

Variations and other additions:  I only add cooked ingredients

-ground poultry or meat, shrimp

-instead of brown rice, use white or basmati, couscous, quinoa, pasta

How about…

Mac and cheese stuffed peppers: I would add lots of green olives, you like some crispy bacon

Tex Mex-add jalapenos, coriander pimento stuffed olives, a little cumin, oregano and top it off with some melty cheese -cook the pepper tops at the side and use to make your plate pretty

Middle Eastern-use bulghour or couscous, lots of parsley, lemon juice, pine nuts, diced fresh tomato

Greek- use white rice,dill, capers, sliced spring onion, leave out the tomato sauce and mix in chopped spinach and top with feta.As you see, it’s all up to you.

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Happy peppering!!!! Jan

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7 thoughts on “Out of the Blue Stuffed Peppers

  1. Emily November 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm Reply

    Sounds so good and so easy to make 🙂 YUMMY!

  2. […] Out of the Blue Stuffed Peppers (culinarycorrespondence.com) […]

  3. Beth November 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm Reply

    I’m sorry I wasn’t around to taste these! When Laura saw this post she requested your recipe for stuffed tomatoes with goats cheese and red pepper coulis.. yum!

  4. Jan November 25, 2013 at 10:41 am Reply

    Oh wow, it’s been forever. We should have done that in Milos. I will keep my eye out for some decent tomatoes and make it especially for Laura-if,and it’s a big if, at this time of year, I find any.

    • Beth November 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm Reply

      There were tomatoes in the market this Sunday (at the creepy salad guy’s stand). Maybe we’ll have some decent ones on Tuesday or Friday?

  5. Hanin November 27, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

    This looks really amazing, and Thomas is now looking at our blog with a renewed interest 🙂 he wants me to cook all your recipes! hehe
    One question though: you have to cover the peppers before putting them in the oven, right? with foil paper for instance? Or can they go in the oven “à l’air libre”?
    Thank you 🙂

  6. Jan November 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm Reply

    Hi there DIL- there’s no need to cover. Thomas could make this and let you put your feet up after work one night-just saying.

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