Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cooking away

A batch of stuffed peppers. I make these very simply, and it's difficult to provide a recipe, as so much is done by intuition. Here's what I do, approximately.

Take a large pot and 6-7 large or 9-10 smallish bell peppers of any color.

Saute 1 finely chopped onion and 1 grated carrot. Add 1 cup of rice and about 1\ 4 cup water, salt, and spices. Cook for a few minutes until water is absorbed. Let mixture cool down a bit and stir in 1 beaten egg. The egg will make your mixture more sticky. This is a tip I learned from my mother.

Carefully remove tops of peppers and empty them. Fill with rice approximately to 3\4 of their height.

After I have done this, I make a very simple and rather runny sauce for the peppers to cook in, from concentrated tomato juice with some lemon juice, a dash of paprika, thyme and oregano, all this mixed with boiling water. I make enough to cover the peppers almost completely. Then I let it all simmer for approximately 2 hours, on low.

If this inspires you to make stuffed peppers, I'd love to hear how it worked out for you!


Anonymous said...

oooh! thank you! You've inspired me for dinner tonight. For now, it's just my 13 year old daughter and me and she's decided to be a vegetarian (at least for now). Unfortunately, she's also not a very adventurous eater - but she loves bell peppers.


momto9 said...

I make Hungarian suffed peppers which is similar to yours:) I'll post ti tomorrow so you can see it!

Amy said...

That sounds really good! I'll have to try it this way.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll serve something stuffed for dinner tonight!

My family starts out loving stuffed peppers at the first harvest of these garden fruits in fall, but after several harvests, not so much. My recipes have used the baking in the oven techniques in a square deep baking dish. I try to vary ingredients a bit, and sometimes look to the internet for inspiration! A cheese garnished 'stuffing', beef-broth base, or mixtures that include raisins and allspice.

I'm from a land of cabbages rather than fresh peppers or grape leaves. My mother sometimes baked stuffed cabbage leaves on a cookie sheet in the over like the Russians.

The story goes that Swedith variation of stuffed cabbages or kaldomar is a favorite on the smorgasbord, introduced by way of Russians in the late 1700s from Turkey. Dolmas or stuffed grape leaves were a culinary delight brought to Russia by the Turkish pasha. The Swedish variation used the cabbage leaves at hand instead of grape leaves.

Most recipes from when I was a kid (from when my mother made them) included spices and a mixture called porcupine meatballs, or rice and minced meat. Mother's standard was to pour a can of condensed tomato soup over the top of the rolls so that there was a little 'roasted' tomato flavor, rather than the egg sauce from the traditional Turkish.

My husband's heritage is somewhat less land-animal based and I learned how to steam a delicious egg custard soup with spring onions, chicken and peas in a small pumpkin 'kabocha' called 'mother and child reunion'.

It's the time for eating plain squash and pumpkins here in the US. Many people opt for a traditional sweetened version in pumpkin or sweet potato pie, but steamed with a tad of brown sugar and light soy sauce is fine for me!