It’s 10:15 a.m on what appears to be a rather uneventful day. The sky is gloomy, uncharacteristic for an April Texas, and my house is empty (Husband is away for a few days). On days such as this I like to spend my time around the kitchen. There’s something about the aroma of warm spices, and the bright colors of vegetables that enlivens my spirit. I quickly scan my fridge for inspiration, but my fridge, like the bleak sky, reveals little.
A little discouraged and depressed, I run to the local farmers’ market. I am immediately drawn to the bell pepper stand. The vibrant colors of the bell peppers–green, orange, yellow and red–somewhat compensate for the missing summer. At this point I have no plans as to what to do with them, but I grab a bagful, because they are selling for only ¢25 each!!
My dad makes this spicy and garlicky fried bell peppers, stuffed with minced meat. They are heavenly! A perfect dish with a luscious assertive outer layer of bell pepper , and smooth, juicy, and fiery center. I decide to give it a try.
When I finish cooking I realize that these stuffed bell peppers are too pretty to be eaten alone. I invite my friend, Boosung, for lunch. She brings a bottle of prosecco. And what was supposed to be a lonely, colorless, and uneventful day, meanders into a few hours of long chats, few glasses of prosseco, and a memorable meal with a dear friend.
Stuffed bell peppers recipe
Level: easy Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 15 mins Serves: 4
1/2 lb minced chicken (approximately 230 grams)
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 cup onions, chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
4 whole bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
2 tbsp grated cheese
Heat the oil in a thick bottomed skillet. Add garlic, ginger, and chilies, and saute for 30 seconds.
Add onions and saute over medium heat until slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the ground spices and salt and saute for 5-6 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook covered over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until the oil separates from the tomato and onion sauce.
Add minced chicken and saute until thoroughly cooked.
Adjust salt. Add a pinch of sugar.
Add the cooked brown rice and stir to mix.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice and meat mixture and place in the baking dish.
Sprinkle grated cheese on the tops, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through.