Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Collegiate Cuisine - Freshman Hill House Style: Stuffed Bell Peppers

This opportunity came to be when the Penn Vegetarian Society decided that a veg-love potluck was in order for one of our meetings.  I was a little hesitant at first never having "cooked" in the college environment and a little fearful of the sketchy kitchen two floors below my room with a countertop version of a convection oven instead of a stove unit.  I was not sure what to expect.  Having raided the free fruits and veggies given as part of the "Eat Local Challenge" day on Tuesday, I was prepared.

Naturally with so many bell peppers, I decided to stuff some of them with...well...more peppers! 

6 Bell Peppers
  • red are sweetest, orange are tastiest according to me, green hold up the best in the oven, and zucchini can be substituted 
  • Split lengthwise if ginormous
  • Cut the top off with the stem and reserve if normal-sized 
  • de-rib and de-seed the peppers 
  • blanch 1-2 min and shock the bell peppers to bring out their beautiful colors
Brown Rice: about 1.5 cups
Mushroom stock 2.25-2.5 cups for cooking the rice
2 plum tomatoes, diced and salted
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion (I used a red onion)
1 can black beans, drained(or you can cook dry bean)
6 large stalks chinese broccoli or other hardy greens - blanched
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium summer squash or zucchini
small bunch of parsley
palmfull of cumin
palmfull of coriander
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
salt and paper
1 tbsp of olive oil
  1. cook the rice and set aside
  2. prep and blanch peppers and greens (kale or collards or something on the hardier side can be substituted)
  3. rub peppers with just enough olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat
  4. chop garlic into a paste with salt and sauté, add onions and cook until translucent
  5. add diced peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and greens
  6. add cumin, coriander, and cayenne to taste
  7. add black beans
  8. test for seasoning
  9. remove from heat; using a fork, crush and mash some of the beans by vigorously stirring and mashing what's in the pot (leave some whole)
  10. add salt and pepper to taste
  11. stir in cooked rice to combine
  12. spoon mixture into seasoned peppers, put tops on those that were prepared in that style and put in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes (I used a convection oven with this time and temp)
  13. remove and enjoy...they're even better the next day or two days later reheated!
Try sprinkling them with cheese or toasted breadcrumbs.  Maybe substituting quinoa for the brown rice would pique your interest.

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