I was going to share a recipe that is ancient to say the least, but time has caught up with me. As I strongly believe in eating seasonal food and taking full advantage of all nature provides I have decided to dedicate this post to peppers.
It is still nice and warm where I live, but the time has come to harvest my bell peppers. I can hear the cranes overhead as they migrate south, the sun no longer has the strength it had and the peppers are unlikely to ripen further. Although I have been eating them all summer, I still have quite a few left. Today I thought I would start with the un-ripe green peppers.
The following recipe is for stuffed bell peppers. It is a basic recipe and I change it depending upon what I have available. For example I have lots of carrots at the moment too so I put some into the mix. I also put lots of basil in as peppers remind me of summer, as does basil. Again just put in whatever herbs you like.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Makes 10 stuffed pepper halves:
5 Bell Peppers
750g Minced beef
4 Garlic cloves
200g Cheddar cheese
½ Jar Tomato sauce
4 tbsp Fresh basil
Cut off the pepper stalks as close to the peppers as possible. Cut lengthways then cut out the centre with the seeds.
Put a good quantity of water on the boil. Add in a good pinch of salt. Gently boil the peppers for around 15 minutes. This is the only tricky bit to the recipe. Overcooking can make the peppers lose their shape and make them a little more difficult to fill. It is certainly not impossible though as the filling should be fairly firm. Undercooking can make them a little crisp when eaten, but again no big deal.
Once the peppers are cooked I use the same water to cook the rice and the carrots. This saves energy and also imparts more flavour into the rice and carrots from the peppers. Just dice the carrots and cook in a pan till tender. Cook the rice in a separate pan until done, normally around the 12 minute mark.
Meanwhile, dice the onion and fry in oil. When it is quite soft, add in the meat and fry until almost done. Chop the garlic and add in. Fry for a few more minutes to cook the garlic and finish off the meat. Take off the heat.
Grate the cheese.
Mix the rice, carrots and half of the cheese into the meat mixture. Medium chop the basil and mix into the meat. Add in enough tomato sauce, not ketchup, to bring it together. I always salt each ingredient as I cook it, but it is always good to check the seasoning at this point. Add in a good quantity of freshly ground black pepper.
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Put the peppers in a baking tray and fill with the meat mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes in the middle of the oven to fully heat the filling and melt the grated cheese.
Just a quick post then this week, but I hope you like it. If you have peppers it may come in handy, if not it is probably a good time to buy some and try it out.
The recipe makes a lot of stuffed peppers, but I have a lot of peppers and it is a good dish for freezing. Of course, most (all?) foodstuffs are better fresh, but I find the freezer is an excellent way to store seasonal gluts and allows me to eat my own produce out of season. You know me by now, but for me“waste not, want not” is one of my guiding principles.
2015 Lincoln W. Betteridge