Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

I figured I had to include my Stuffed Peppers recipe at some point, since it's one of the most popular Eastern European dishes. It seems that every cuisine has its own version of stuffed peppers. This is the Russian version. We use simple ingredients and sweet bell peppers of different colors for delicious taste and a beautiful presentation. It's a great dish, because it's a complete dish on its own, it doesn't need any sides, since it has everything: veggies, meat and starch. Very kid friendly, too. What I do for Allie is I buy a few tiny little bell peppers and stuff them for her, so she has her own small serving, and she really enjoys those tiny versions of the dish that Mama and Dada are having.

Stuffed Peppers

½ cup white rice
1 ½ lbs ground beef or turkey (I usually use turkey)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
6 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup mayonnaise (optional)

In a saucepan add equal amounts of rice and water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to
a medium-low and cook until the rice has adsorbed all of the water - about 10 minutes.
Let it cool down.

Meanwhile, prepare the peppers. Slice the tops off the peppers and reserve them. Remove
and discard the seeds and ribs. Now the peppers are ready to be stuffed.

Prepare the stuffing by mixing together partially cooked rice, ground beef or turkey, onion, carrot,
parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the peppers, leaving a little room because
the rice will plump up a bit more while cooking. Once all the peppers are filled, spread a
little mayo on top of each pepper and cover them up with the reserved pepper tops.

In a Dutch oven add chicken stock and mix in tomato paste. Transfer the peppers into the
Dutch oven. There should be enough stock to come up to center of the peppers. Cover
the pot and bring it to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium, leave the lid on and
continue cooking until the filling is cooked through - about 40 minutes.

Remove the cooked peppers from the pot and transfer them onto a serving platter.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Traditionally in my family we always served the peppers
with a little mayo on the side, but they are great if you top them with a little cooking

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