My friend who shared her bounty of homegrown eggplant also shared mini bell peppers from her garden. Loved it! Lucky me. 🙂 I searched for a special way to use them. These stuffed peppers were a complete success- everyone in my family enjoyed them.
This recipe was originally intended to be a vegetarian main dish using full-size red bell peppers. I used these mini peppers instead and served them as a side dish with sautéed kabocha squash and rotisserie chicken.
This dish was full-flavored and delicious. The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Emilee and Jere Gettle. Absolutely wonderful.
Yield: approximately 10 mini bell peppers or 4 full-size bell peppers
10 mini bell peppers or 4 large bell peppers (any color)
2 T unsalted butter or grapeseed oil
2 medium shallots, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup long-grain white rice (I used Basmati)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 large jalapeño, finely chopped with or without seeds, as desired (I ribbed and seeded the chile)
8 oz cremini or oyster mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups chopped spinach (I used baby spinach)
1/4 cup chopped basil, preferably Thai, plus more for garnish (I used Italian basil)
freshly squeezed juice from half of a large lemon
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Slice the tops off the peppers and cut the tops into 1/4-inch dice; discard the cores and stems.
Boil the hollowed out peppers until just tender, about 3 minutes for mini peppers or 4 minutes for full size peppers. Using tongs, carefully transfer the peppers to paper towels to drain, cut side down. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
Mince the shallots and garlic in a mini food processor, if desired; remove and set aside.
Dice the jalapeno and pepper tops in the food processor. Set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, until toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, ginger, curry paste and the 1 1/2 cups of reserved pepper water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced bell pepper tops and the jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are browned, 4 minutes longer.
Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetable mixture to the rice and stir in the basil and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and set them in a shallow glass, ceramic baking dish, or rimmed baking sheet. (I used a cookie scoop.)
Tent with foil and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes for mini peppers or up to 45 minutes for full size peppers, until the rice filling is steaming and heated through.
I made all of these sautéed chicken dishes months apart, but it seems right to share them at the same time. 🙂
My Austrian sister-in-law has traditional schnitzel with freshly made mayonnaise and cucumber salad for dinner every Christmas Eve. It is absolutely delicious. I loved this Middle Eastern variation.
This recipe was adapted from Bringing it Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons with Mindy Fox. I substituted chicken thighs for chicken cutlets and cooked the dish in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Perfect.
This schnitzel would also be wonderful served as a sandwich in a pita with hummus.
Yield: Serves 4
For the Israeli Salad:
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp za’atar
1 tsp sumac, optional
freshly ground black pepper
For the Schnitzel:
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup panko
1 1/2 T za’atar
freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken cutlets, about 1 pound
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
lemon wedges, for serving
To start the salad:
In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, parsley, and mint.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the schnitzel:
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place an ovenproof platter or a baking sheet int he oven to warm.
In a wide, shallow bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tsp salt, and a generous pinch of pepper.
In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and a pinch of salt.
In a third shallow bowl, combine the panko, za’atar, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
Place each piece of chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin, gently pound each piece of chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
Pat the meat dry and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper.
Dredge in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess.
Dip in the eggs, letting excess drip off, then gently press into the panko mixture to completely coat.
Transfer the chicken to a large plate.
Heat the 1/2 cup of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. (I used a cast iron skillet over medium heat.)
Fry the chicken in 2 batches, turning once, until cooked through and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Drain each batch on paper towel-lined plates, season with salt, then transfer to the platter in the oven to keep warm.
To finish the salad:
Add the 2 T oil, lemon juice, za’atar, sumac, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper to the vegetable mixture.
Toss to combine.
Serve the schnitzel with the salad piled on top (or vice versa!) with lemon wedges on the side.
This is the last “soup” that I have to share (for now!) in my cozy soup series. 😉 It would be perfect for any Super Bowl Sunday feast. It was layered with flavor.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. The original recipe was adapted from the one that a Louisiana firefighter named Jeremy Chauvin entered into a national cook-off run by Hormel Foods in 2017, and that took home the prize for America’s Best Firehouse Chili. It uses a roux as a base, making it a chili “gumbo.” I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
For the Chili:
2tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
3pounds ground beef or ground turkey, ideally coarse-ground
1tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
2tablespoons chile powder
1teaspoon ground turmeric
1teaspoon dried oregano
1teaspoon ground cumin
3tablespoons steak sauce (I substituted soy sauce)
2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
For the Gumbo:
2tablespoons unsalted butter
1tablespoon olive oil
2tablespoons all-purpose flour
1large yellow onion, peeled and diced
2medium shallots, peeled and diced
1green bell pepper, diced
1yellow bell pepper, diced
3ribs celery, trimmed and diced
3cloves garlic, peeled and minced
26-ounce cans tomato paste
28-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 to 2cups tomato juice
1tablespoon apple-cider vinegar, or to taste
2tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste
sliced scallions, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, as desired
corn bread or corn muffins, optional
Make the chili. Heat the oil in a large skillet or heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Working in batches, cook the ground meat, stirring often, until it has begun to brown at the edges. Using a slotted spoon, transfer browned meat to a bowl.
Pour off excess fat, turn heat down to medium and return the browned meat to the skillet or pot.
Add salt, peppers, chile powder, turmeric, oregano and cumin, and stir to combine.
Add steak sauce/soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and diced tomatoes, and stir again. Cover the skillet or pot, and cook, stirring a few times, for 15 minutes or so.
Make the gumbo. Place a large pot with a heavy bottom over medium heat, and put the butter and oil into it. When the butter is melted and foaming, sprinkle the flour into the pan, and whisk to combine. Continue whisking until the mixture is golden brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the onion, shallots, bell peppers, celery and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have started to soften, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Make the chili gumbo. Add the beef mixture to the pot with the vegetables along with the tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato juice and ketchup, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes, then add apple-cider vinegar and hot sauce to taste.
Take the pot off the heat, and serve, or allow to cool and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to cure. Heat before serving.
Serve garnished with scallions, shredded cheese, and/or tortilla chips, as desired.
This dish was the perfect way to celebrate my beautiful CSA cauliflower. Although the base of this tagine was a bit spicy, the cauliflower and cheesy breadcrumb topping offset the spiciness and created a perfect balance. Because I didn’t have the Tunisian spice blend, Tabil, on hand, I was able to create the spice blend myself. The spiciness in the final dish could be easily modified by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes in the spice blend.
The tagine recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I reduced the amount of olive oil to lighten the recipe. I also included a leek as well as green and yellow bell peppers from my CSA share. The spice blend recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com. It was a full-flavored and fabulous vegetarian casserole.
For the Tabil Spice Blend:
Yield: about 3 tablespoons
1 1/2 T coriander seeds
2 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 T caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Finely grind all ingredients in a spice mill.
Note: The remaining spice blend can be reserved in an airtight container at room temperature.
For the Tagine:
Yield: Serves 6
8 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, cut into half moons and rinsed
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons Tabil (recipe above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup water
2 1/2-pounds cauliflower (about 1 to 1 1/2 heads), cored and cut into 2-inch florets
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3 ounces, 1 cup, Gruyère cheese, shredded
5 large eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 400°, preferably on convection.
Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, bell pepper, paprika, Tabil, tomato paste and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper softens, about 7 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and water and simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Spread the cauliflower in the baking dish.
In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the Gruyère and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the beaten eggs; spread the mixture over the cauliflower.
Cover with foil and bake in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until browned and crisp on top.
Let the tagine stand for 10 minutes before serving.
My entire family really looks forward to our Mardi Gras dinner. In all honesty, it’s because the meal is topped off with our traditional freshly-baked King Cake. Just writing about it makes me want some. 🙂
I typically make a Cajun main dish- usually shrimp jambalaya. This chicken and sausage version was incredible. My mother-in-law had just given us tons of fabulous Polish kielbasa as well. I was happy that my husband agreed to “sacrifice” it for our special dinner as it really added to the finished dish. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Ian Knauer.
I made this quick one-pot dish so that my son could gobble it up before his swim practice. After practice, he used my husband’s phone to text me (repeatedly), “I’m starving! I need more ONE POT!!” He absolutely loved it. Needless to say, he ate all of the leftovers. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine. I lightened the recipe by using ground turkey instead of ground pork. I also used arborio rice. My serving had additional fresh lime juice squeezed all over the top. Tasty!
This colorful dish used my entire CSA box in one meal! My husband accepted it as a vegetarian main because of the flavorful baguette-cheese topping (yay!), but it would also work well as a hearty side dish. We even had a green salad on the side. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Julia Moskin. Moskin recommended using a fresh baguette in the topping for the best crust. Great!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a main dish or up to 12 as a side dish
Time: 1 1/2 hours
For the Base Layer:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced, or 2 additional onions
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 cloves garlic, smashed
For the Tomato-Bread Crumb Topping:
1 ½ pounds plum or other ripe tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup shredded Parmesan or Gruyère cheese
For the Gratin:
¼ cup olive oil, more for baking
1 ½ pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used 2 pieces)
1 ½ pounds yellow squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used 2 pieces)
¼ cup freshly chopped basil or parsley, more for garnish
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the base layer: In a large, heavy ovenproof skillet or enameled cast-iron pan (10 to 12 inches across), combine onions and olive oil and heat to a sizzle, stirring to separate.
Add bell peppers, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook, stirring, over low heat until peppers are very soft and onions are browned, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and leave mixture in the pan. (The garlic can be removed at this time, if desired.)
Meanwhile, make the topping: Core tomatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Lay on paper towels to drain for 10+ minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add tomatoes and cook very slowly, turning once or twice, until liquid has bubbled away and flesh is cooked through, about 8 minutes. (Do not overcook, or tomatoes will fall apart.) Turn off heat and let slices cool in skillet; they will continue to dry out.
Tear baguette into pieces and pulse in a food processor to make coarse, fluffy, pea-size crumbs. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the cheese and pulse to combine.
Assemble the gratin: Heat oven to 425 degrees. (If your oven has a convection feature, use it, reducing baking temperature to 400 degrees.)
In a large bowl, combine oil, zucchini and squash, and toss well until lightly and evenly coated. Add basil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and toss again.
On top of the base layer in pan, arrange squash and zucchini slices around the inner rim of the pan, standing on their edges in roughly alternating colors. Pat down into the pan so slices overlap and lie down, like shingles or fallen dominoes. Repeat to make another circle inside the first, and again if necessary, until pan is filled. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Brush oil over the top of the gratin and transfer to oven. Bake 30 minutes. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees (425 degrees for convection), or heat the broiler.
Add the topping: Arrange tomato slices in one layer on top of the par-baked gratin. Spread bread-cheese mixture over tomatoes and press down gently.
Bake or broil until vegetables are browned around the edges or crust is crisp and golden.
Let cool slightly and serve hot or at warm room temperature. Garnish each serving with herbs, if desired.