Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ottolenghi’s stuffed peppers

There are lots of recipes that catch my eye. I have a whole file folder full of printed out or cut out recipes that I’ve never made. Periodically I pull out the file and take out those I think I will never make and reviewing others makes me think – hmmm I wonder why I never made this. I printed this recipe in February and I found it a last week tucked into one of my recipe books and it intrigued me. An unusual mix of vegetables but it all sounded delicious. So I picked up a rutabaga (I still call it turnip in my head), peppers and gruyere cheese and away I went. Reading the instructions (for once) I realized that it would probably take a bit longer than my usual dinner prep time so I made it over two nights. The first night, I prepped and prebaked the peppers (I used medium sized ones so I baked them for 10 minutes at 400 deg F)

 and cooked the swede (rutabaga) as directed. As that process took longer than written (50 minutes), I think my diced pieces were bigger than directed. My excuse is that I’ve never been all that good at math. The second night, I toasted the bread, diced the cheese, made the stuffing mixture and stuffed and cooked the peppers. I was fairly convinced at this point that the effort was not going to be worth it. But these peppers are definitely worth the effort and are even worthy of guests or a party. And while I read the instructions and the ingredient list, I didn’t actually read the amounts or at least the amount of butter didn’t sink in until I was making the dish – it is a lot of butter. And most of it is left in the pan at the end of cooking the swede (rutabaga). So I’ll be using it in my curried lentil dish next week. I think next time I’ll try slow roasting the rutabaga in the oven first rather than braising it in the butter just to see if it makes a difference in the flavour.


Yotam Ottolenghi’s stuffed peppers (adapted from Ottolenghi from the Guardian.co.uk)

2 medium orange peppers
2 medium yellow peppers
1 swede (rutabaga) ~ 600g, peeled, diced into ½” pieces
1 ½ sticks of butter ( ~150g )
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
200g oatmeal bread, diced into ½” pieces, toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp capers
250g gruyère, cut into 1cm cubes

Cut the peppers in half lengthways, leaving the stalks on. Remove the seeds and white membrane, and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 425F. Bake the peppers for 10 minutes.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the rutabaga, thyme and some salt and pepper. Cook over very gentle heat, regularly spooning butter over the rutabaga so it cooks evenly, for about 30 minutes or so, until soft.

Once the rutabaga is cooked, remove from the pan, leaving behind any excess butter. Mix the rutabaga with the toasted breadcrumbs, garlic, capers and cheese, season with a little salt and pepper,

and stuff inside the peppers, piling it up well.

Roast for 10 minutes, until the peppers are charred at the edges, then turn down the oven to 350F, cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes more. The peppers need to be soft.

And if you have any left over, they make a delicious lunch the next day.

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