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.
My husband has been saying that we really should incorporate more fish into our diet. I know that he’s probably right. So, I was very proud to serve not only one, but TWO fish dinners in one week. The first was a super quick and fresh pan-roasted fish dish. (I’ll share that in a separate post.) The second was this quick red curry. I thought it was just me, but we all decided that the fish overpowered an otherwise delicious dish. (I am open to another opinion though!) I made it again with my go-to protein, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and it was a winner in my house. Maybe fish once a week is enough for us. 😉
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I used two broccoli crowns, one red bell pepper, two carrots, and one large shallot in the mixed vegetables. We ate it over fresh rice noodles; I think it would also be wonderful with rice. It was absolutely delicious and faster than takeout.
1½ cups whole peeled tomatoes, plus juices from one 15-ounce can or half of one 28-ounce can (I cheated and used diced tomatoes.)
1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
approximately 1 pound mixed fresh vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots, and/or shallots), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound firm white fish (such as halibut or cod), skin removed or 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
12 to 24 oz fresh rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
minced and whole cilantro leaves, for serving
lime wedges, for serving
Pulse shallot, garlic, and ginger in a food processor to finely chop.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add shallot mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Add curry paste and turmeric; cook, stirring, until paste is darkened in color and mixture starts to stick to pan, about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, breaking up with your hands, then juices. Cook, stirring often and scraping up browned bits, until tomatoes start to break down and stick to pot, about 5 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until mixture is slightly thickened and flavors meld, 8–10 minutes.
Add vegetables and pour in enough water to cover (limit to 1/2 to 1 cup to prevent the sauce from becoming too thin). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 8–10 minutes.
Season fish or chicken all over with salt and nestle into curry (add a little more water if it’s very thick). Return to a simmer and cook just until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Spoon curry over rice noodles and top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Do Ahead: Curry base (without vegetables or fish) can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, adding water to thin as needed.
Red curry is my go-to Thai dish. I order it almost every time we eat at a Thai restaurant. It is spicy with a little bit of sweetness. It’s wonderful!! This version has lovely color from the carrots and red bell pepper as well as a textural contrast from the potatoes. This recipe was adapted from Frontier Natural and The Wanderlust Kitchen. I added more vegetables to the dish, used light coconut milk, and used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts- just my personal preference. We ate it over an organic quinoa and rice blend with warm naan and green salad. Potatoes, rice, AND naan… my starch-loving husband was thrilled! A slow-cooker meal ready after two after-school piano lessons… I was thrilled! 🙂 GREAT!
1 tablespoon curry powder blend (I used Penzey’s Maharajah Curry Powder)
2-3 dried red chilies (I used 2 dried Guajillo chilies), stemmed, crumbled with seeds intact
1 medium red bell pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 cups light coconut milk
To complete the dish:
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basic red curry sauce (recipe above)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving, optional
1/4 cup Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/8 cup Scallions, chopped
rice, for serving
naan, for serving, if desired
Make the basic red curry sauce:
Heat oil or ghee in a 2-quart sauce pan.
Finely chop garlic, ginger, shallots and bell pepper in a mini-food processor.
Sauté garlic, ginger, diced shallots or onion, and red bell pepper in oil or ghee until tender.
Sprinkle in curry powder, crumbled dried red chilies, lime juice and zest. Stir in coconut milk and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth.
Remove from heat and pour into your slow cooker.
Finish the dish:
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the grape seed oil in a skillet over very high heat. Once hot, brown half of the chicken pieces for about 30 seconds per side. Transfer browned chicken pieces to the slow cooker, with the curry sauce. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and pan drippings to the slow cooker.
Stir in the turmeric, coriander, fish sauce, and sugar.
Cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 5 hours.
Add the bell pepper, carrots and potatoes. Cook another 30 minutes on high, or for an hour on low. (I cooked it on low for 3 1/2 hours, added the vegetables, and then cooked it on high for 1 hour.) Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Serve over rice with lime wedges for squeezing, if desired. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.