Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 Challenge: Stuffed Peppers

Meatloaf, fried chicken, stuffed peppers, and other dishes of that ilk belong to a rare culinary breed known as old school dishes. Most of us have experienced them in both good forms and bad. For some they represent comfort and home cooking. For others they are bad dishes which are best left in the past to be replaced by lighter fresher cooking.

I love these old dishes. Recently a lunch at American Sector got the old brain working about classic, comfort foods. After a few weeks of thinking about it, stuffed peppers seemed like a dish I needed to know how to cook. Had done them before with boudin and that proved successful, but wanted to try it again. Cue Lindsay, who after thumbing her way through numerous cookbooks, stumbled upon David Watluck's recipe in his incredible Staff Meals cookbook. (Brief tangent- buy this cookbook.)

Set out to make it on a Thursday night. Tired and hungry, taking the time to stuff the peppers and make them stand at attention seemed impossible and not worth it. So, I took the lazy way out. After cooking and blending the stuffing mixture, I simply laid sliced shingles of red pepper on top of the mixture and baked it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Not Stuffed Peppers (credit basic structure to David Watluck, with some additions and subtractions)

Ingredients you need:
Italian Sausage, 1 pound
Rice, cooked and cooled, 1 cup
Onion, diced, 1 cup
Carrot, diced, 1/2 cup
Celery, diced, 1/2 cup
Garlic, smushed, 5 cloves
Oregano, dried, 1 Tablespoon
Parsley, fresh, 1 good heap, reserve a tablespoon for garnish
White Wine, 1 Cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove sausage from casing and brown in skillet. Drain off excess fat. Add to this onion , carrot, and celery. Cook until vegetables have softened. Then add in garlic, oregano, parsley, and rice. For rice we have been using this incredible brown and red rice mixture that is nutty and savory.

Cook mixture for another five minutes. Then add white wine. Stir to combine. Layer on red pepper shingles. Bake for 45 minutes.

You see the wrinkles on the peppers? That is the skin; it is edible, but you can remove it with your fingers. This leaves the sweet flesh of the pepper which contrasts with the spicy sausage and rice mixture.

Spoon into shallow or deep bowls, depending on your personality. Top with some parsley and if you are feeling special, grated Italian cheese-pecorino romano or parmesan works wonders. Maybe a splash of good olive oil. Serve it with beer.


Shelly said...

My favorite stuffed peppers recipe actually comes from (gasp!) Cooking Light. I find most stuffed peppers to be kind of heavy tasting and greasy, so I love that these taste light and fresh. I've modified it and stuffed all sorts of veggies with it- my favorite is stuffed canned whole chili peppers. And one time I ran out of parmesan and subbed in cilantro and it was wonderful. Infinitely adaptable!

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donnie Boy Riguez said...

Looks like Popeye's dirty rice to me. Guess that's why only 1% of the voting public finds me classy.