Thursday Recipe Exchange: Stuffed Peppers

Photo by JeffreyW

I decided that we’d do stuffed peppers tonight and when I went trolling around the blog, found we’ve done a few variations on them over the years. Tonight’s featured recipe is from my cousin Scott. He mentions in the original post that we’re a family who loves to cook and I couldn’t agree more. On his side of my family, I think everyone has the gift in the kitchen. I have memories of my grandparents’ farm and the great food we’d have there. My Grandma Lois made the best fried eggs in the world that I have never been able to duplicate. They were crisp on the bottom (a treatment my family always called “shoe leather” –though that does not do that crust justice), perfectly medium on top and covered in so much pepper you’d sneezed just looking at them. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to come close to those eggs. I asked my mom a few years ago what I was missing and she replied, “lard”. And I’m sure it was previously used lard at that. Grandma Lois kept a can on the stove. It’s probably why her fried chicken was so amazing, too.

Anyway that story has nothing to do with tonight’s recipes. Stuffed peppers. We have several takes on them:

JeffreyW does a traditional Stuffed Peppers with homemade tomato soup (recipe here).

I have a pretty easy stuffed Red Pepper recipe – though you can use green peppers, no problem (recipe here).

And our featured recipe, below, from my Men Who Cook series, is a vegetarian treat.

How about you, any favorite memories of foods from childhood you can’t recreate? Do you have a different take on stuffed peppers that you like to use? Hit the comments and share.

Now for tonight’s featured recipe:

This comes from my cousin Scott Adams. Scottie follows in the footsteps of many in my family – the love of cooking (click here for the full story). These peppers are practically gourmet!

Scottie’s Stuffed Pepper’s

  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound short whole wheat pasta
  • 4 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and reserved, seeded
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • 4 jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small portobello mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, stems discarded and leaves chopped
  • One 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups arugula or baby spinach (a few generous handfuls)
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of Dill

Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Trim the bottoms of the bell peppers, without cutting a hole, so that they stand. Season inside with salt and black pepper. Turn the peppers bottom side up in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, set the tops alongside and drizzle with EVOO. Roast for 20 minutes.

Using a food processor, puree the roasted red peppers. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, mushrooms, crushed red pepper and rosemary and cook until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in the pureed peppers and the fire-roasted tomatoes; season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and toss. Add the arugula and basil and cook until wilted.

Preheat the broiler. Turn the peppers upright; fill with pasta. Top with the cheese and broil until melted, 2 minutes. Cover with the tops and serve with any extra pasta.

Cross-posted at Balloon-Juice sometime this evening.

Gyros

Some of my favorite fast food.  I bought a 5 lb brick of the lamb loaf already cooked and sliced, and froze it in meal sized portions.  There is enough left for one more meal for the two of us.  I like the nan loaves but they are not ideal for gyros, at least these aren’t.  They are just a tad thick, and they break rather than fold.  Great flavor, though.

Pasta Salad

We had fried chicken the other night, and I wanted to finish the chicken off and thought eating it cold would hit the spot.  Something about cold fried chicken, it is better cold than it is reheated.  I wondered aloud what would be good to go with it and Mrs J went right straight for baked beans and a macaroni salad.  I can do that.

Mrs J was thinking elbow mac but we didn’t have any, there were some medium shells that I thought would work.  I set those to boil and pondered dressings.  We have a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing that I wanted to try and that put me in mind of olives and olives reminded me of the roasted red peppers we still have.  A rib of celery for the crunch and a few capers for the salt and we were good to go.

I like plenty of fresh ground black pepper on mine, and some grated Parmesan would have worked wonderfully.

Mmm… Cheeseburger

This just fell together for me this afternoon.  We bought some prosciutto over the weekend from a neat Italian deli that has been operating for a couple of generations in a nearby town known for its Italian enclave. We also took home a dozen of the bread rolls they feature in their own sandwich making.  One of them is the foundation of this fine looking burger tonight.

I made some onion jam the other day that was so good I made another batch with a different recipe.  This new jam was made from red onions and balsamic vinegar but is otherwise pretty much the same as the first batch.  I have that jar of roasted red peppers that Mrs J suggested I buy.  They taste good and make a very nice addition to the sandwich.

So, the recipe for this burger:  Slather some butter on the buns and grill them.  Broil your burger on one side, flip it over and broil a few minutes more then top with provolone, a smear of the onion jam, then some prosciutto.    Let it cook some more, at least until the cheese melts and the prosciutto toasts just a bit.  I added the peppers at the table.

Mmm… prosciutto wrapped baked eggs

With pesto and some of that cheese Mrs J bought Saturday at the farmer’s market.  And the roasted red pepper strips she spotted in a jar at the grocery store where we stopped on the way back home.  Mrs J is very handy to have around.  Here is Mattie, a standard poodle x husky greeting her at the market.

Mattie’s doggie momma is the gal in the red jacket who volunteers at the shelter with Mrs J.  She is an ex-state trooper, as is her hubby.  Mattie has the beautiful blue eyes of a husky but was too exuberant for me to get a decent picture