Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stuffed Peppers, Mediterranean Style

I told my friend that I would make a dish with Turkey in it for her. I’d like to dedicate this gem to Rizky Sulistyowati, hopefully you can get all the ingredients in Indonesia; otherwise you will just have to come back to Canada so I can make it for you.

I recently discovered a tasty little seed called quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa is a most nutritious little seed. I particularly like it because it is packed with protein so it is a good meat substitute for all you crazy vegetarians/vegans out there. I like to add equal parts of quinoa to my rice. 

Since a lot of stuffed peppers use rice as a basis for the stuffing I figured this would be a great place to start.
It takes about 15 minutes to cook the quinoa, the same as most rice save brown/wild rice.  Overcooking the quinoa makes it really soft. I like it slightly undercooked so that it pops as you bite it. Do not be alarmed if you find what looks like little worms in your cooked quinoa. As you cook the seed pods they open up and the sprouts come out. It kind of reminds me of Popplers.

Not so much visually, but the thought of eating something that is about to hatch? Yes.

I’m sure you’ve had enough talk of quinoa though, so let’s get into the rest of the recipe!

3/4 cup Organic Red Quinoa
3/4 cup Rice (use whatever you want, I usually get the 8kg el cheapo bag)
3 Bell Peppers
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 handful of ground turkey
1/2 cob of corn, minus the cob
1/2 tomato, diced
1-2 tbsp chopped oregano
250g feta
1-2 handfuls of spinach

As usual, you are going to want to start off by slicing some onions and let them sweat it out in a wok with a little olive oil on low heat. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste. I should really make a post called step 1 and outline this process. Studies have shown that onions, garlic, salt and pepper are the basis to 83.7% of all recipes, but don’t quote me on that. Once this is looking tasty, probably about 7 minutes, move the onions to the edge of the wok and add the ground turkey. Once brown, add the following vegetables:
I don’t think corn would normally be found in a dish like this, but I had a few cobs in the fridge that I needed to eat.

While the vegetables cook clean out 3 peppers. I used a red, green and yellow pepper for contrasting colours. I found the red pepper tasted the best though. Pop these guys into the oven preheated to 350°F for about 7-10 minutes. By the time you need to stuff the peppers they should be ready to go.

Once the vegetables were warm, they don’t really require much cooking, I threw in a handful of spinach and the feta. I like the spinach to wilt just a bit so it doesn’t take up as much space in the pepper.

Grab the peppers, making sure they aren’t still hot, and stuff them as full as possible. At this point you can bake them in the oven or place them on the grill. I used my grill because my oven doesn’t work. I should probably dedicate a post to setting up a charcoal grill as I will be using it a lot this summer and probably well into the winter. Everything is pretty much cooked by now so you really don’t need to bake/grill the peppers for long. I left mine on the grill for about 15 minutes which was just right. In the oven these would probably take 15 minutes or so on 350 deg F.

These are delicious but fresh Tzatziki sauce makes them even better. The sauce is so easy I didn’t even bother to take pictures. You need:

5 tablespoons plain yogurt – the thicker the better
1 tbsp shredded cucumber
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp chopped chives

Mix everything together in a bowl and BAM delicious Tzatziki sauce!

So that's how you make delicious Stuffed Peppers AND Tzatziki. Now hear is a picture I made of a giant pepper destroying a city.

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