6 | Sunday, October 29, 2017
THE GOOD LIFE | THE COURIER
How to get stuffed peppers right JEANMARIE BROWNSON
Tribune News Service
resh peppers, hot and spicy, sweet and crunchy, are the ultimate quick change artists. Long skinny shishito and squat padron peppers make fantastic seared finger foods. Red poblanos, slender cubanelles and yellow sweet bells prove perfect for stuffing. At home, I start with the tomato sauce that will sit under the peppers as they cook. A touch of ground coriander and olive oil marry this sauce nicely to the sweet peppers. For a moister filling, I pool a little of the sauce over the top of the stuffed pepper before baking. Ground beef, cooked with onions, dried currants and sweet spices, forms the base for a flavorful filling. Taking no chances on crunchy rice, I opt for cooked long grain basmati. It’s a piece of cake to cook rice in the rice cooker. By the time the sauce, filling and peppers are ready, so is the rice. Adding warm rice to the beef means it’ll absorb flavors beautifully.
“Stuffed Pepper” Meatball Soup with Fresh Herbs Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef 1/2 pound uncooked mild Italian
sausage, removed from casing
E. JASON WAMBSQANS PHOTOS/ TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
1 large egg 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs 3 tablespoons chopped fresh
Serbian style stuffed red bell peppers are filled with ground beef, onion, peppers, garlic, pine nuts, rice and raisins.
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium red bell pepper,
cored, seeded, chopped 1/2 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped 1 carrot, peeled, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 quart (32 ounces) chicken broth
Serbian-Style Stuffed Red Bell Peppers A meatball soup takes on the flavors of stuffed peppers. 1 can (28 ounces) crushed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked rice 1 can (14 ounces) white beans,
drained Chopped fresh basil, parsley and chives
1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 box (26 ounces) or 1 can (28 ounces) chopped
tomatoes with liquid
1/2 teaspoon each: ground coriander, salt
Beef and rice filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 pound lean ground beef 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper 1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 generous cup warm cooked rice 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, salt 1/4 teaspoon each: allspice, finely ground
For meatballs, put meats, egg, crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Gently mix everything together with your hands. Shape into small meatballs, each about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Heat large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Working in batches, add meatballs in a single uncrowded layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove with tongs to a plate. Repeat to cook all the meatballs. black pepper For soup, without washing pan, add onion to meatball drippings in pot. Cook and stir to scrape up browned bits, about 3 minutes. Stir in bell 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill peppers and carrot; cook and stir, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 6 small yellow or red sweet bell peppers, 3 pounds total (or 8 to 12 large long red or yellow 2 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, seasoning and salt. Simmer, partly Anaheim peppers) covered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir meatballs, rice and beans into soup. Simmer until heated through, Fresh dill or parsley for garnish about 10 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve garnished generously with fresh herbs. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
For tomato sauce, cook onion in oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, coriander and salt. Simmer, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, for filling, heat oil in large nonstick skillet until hot. Add onion and ground meat. Cook and stir over medium heat, breaking meat up into small pieces, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in green pepper, currants and garlic; cook and stir, 5 minutes. Stir in rice, nuts, paprika, cinnamon, salt, allspice and pepper. Remove from heat. Stir in dill. Taste and adjust salt. Heat oven to 350 F. Cut top quarter off peppers to remove stem and core. Use fingers or a small spoon to scrape out seeds. Pour about three-quarters of tomato sauce into bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Use a spoon to stuff each pepper full to brim with meat filling. Stand stuffed peppers upright in the sauce. (If using Anaheim peppers, you will have to lay them in the sauce.) When all peppers are filled, spoon remaining sauce over the top of each stuffed pepper. Pour 1/2 cup water into sauce in bottom of dish. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake until peppers are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour for Anaheim peppers or 1 hour and 15 minutes for the bell peppers. Let cool a few minutes. Serve garnished with dill or parsley. Makes 6 servings.