Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stuff it! With a smile...

I bought the big bag of peppers the other day and must have hidden them in my fridge, because I totally forgot about them! The choices were chop and freeze or cook, girl, cook! 
I suddenly remembered an old, old boyfriend and a trip to Greece and bingo! stuffed peppers were on the menu. I had 2 big slices of meatloaf from the night before so the protein part of the meal was taken care of. Honestly, I prefer the vegetarian style stuffed peppers anyway. The mint and parsley flavors are so much more distinct. 
The only olive oil I use is Greek, thanks to the wonderful Koutalianos family at, and it all fell into place. Have you used Major's chicken base? It's wonderful and rich with chicken flavor. My ever so talented niece told me about it. A little rice, stock, chopped tomatoes, so you have enough liquid, with sauteed onion, lemon, oregano and garlic and you're ready to stuff those peppers and enjoy the taste of Greece.

Stuffed Peppers (2 very large)
Oven temp 350 about 60-70 minutes
1/2 c rice (I use long grain white)
1 c rich stock ( I use Major's)
2 chopped tomatoes (I use Roma)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 chopped onion
1 clove garlic diced
1/4 c fresh mint and parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
Cut pepper lid off and scrape seeds from inside, season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, add rice and stock and stir occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Only partially cook the rice as it will continue cooking once in the oven. Stir in spices, tomatoes and gently fill peppers about 3/4 full. Put in ovenproof dish ( I used my Anchor Hocking 1 Quart glass mixing bowl and it was just right for bracing up the tall peppers)with fairly high sides and add 1/2 c liquid stock to the bottom. Drizzle olive oil peppers. Do not cover the rice with the lids until later. The rice will swell in the pepper to fill it. Test after 1 hour. My peppers were huge so I needed the full 70 minutes. In the last 10-25 minutes I put on the lids so they would soften and brown up a little for presentation. The minty vegetable aroma was divine and I think I could visualize myself sipping ouzo and peeling shrimp just before I had a reality check and realized I was in my little kitchen with the rain beating on the skylights. Sigh.

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