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Stuffed Peppers a la Romaine

Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Peppers is one of those old good recipes which we adapted from a kind of family relic – a gorgeous Romanian cookbook. It’s packed with irresistible recipes of fruit pies, berry pastes and jams, sweetcorn&cheese casseroles, and other meals I drool over. Of course it also includes a variety of poultry and meat recipes – not as exciting for me, yet useful.

While stuffed peppers are a basically simple dish to prepare, this might be pretty time-consuming as you’ve got to prepare all vegetables separately - and also spend some time seeding and stuffing the peppers, of course. But it is definitely worth the wait – also because you can store the peppers in fridge for 2-3 days no problem.

One of the key points here is to blanch the peppers before stuffing them, as a couple of minutes in boiling water makes them much more elastic. It’s also important to choose peppers that are not too thick and fleshy, otherwise you will feel like “hmm there seems to be too much sweet pepper in this dish!”. On the other hand, they should not be very thin, as thin peppers are easy to overcook, especially if you’re going to reheat them afterwards (I accept no microwaved food, just in case).

Everything else is really simple. In this post, we’ll tell you our method of cooking stuffed peppers in two variations: with and without meat. The vegetarian version is for me and it uses eggplant instead of meat.

Ingredients

- Meat stuffed peppers:

10 sweet peppers
0.5 kg beef mince
2/3 cup rice
4 tomatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Fresh parsley, dill, or basil leaves
Vegetable oil
Olive oil for tomatoes
Salt

- Vegetarian peppers:

8 sweet peppers
1 medium-sized eggplant
2/3 cup rice
5 tomatoes
4 carrots
2 onions
1 clove garlic
Fresh parsley, dill, or basil leaves
Vegetable oil
Olive oil for tomatoes
Salt

Cook the rice as usual (just make sure it doesn’t get overcooked).

Fry the onions, finely chopped, until golden-brown.

Fried onions

Chop the carrots into small, thin pieces and sauté them over medium heat, adding vegetable oil and salt, until possible to cut with a fork.

Sauteed Carrots

For vegetarian version, also chop the eggplant (we don’t remove the peel as it is not bitter at all) into small cubes and sauté over medium heat, until all water has evaporated and the eggplant is something golden-ish. Add oil generously while cooking and season with salt.

Sauteed eggplants

Chop the tomatoes and cook them with olive oil in a deep, large skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Tomatoes

Add grated garlic and a handful of chopped parsley or basil leaves.

Tomatoes

For non-vegetarian version: When all vegetables are ready, mix them all together in a large deep skillet and simmer for some more 7-10 minutes. This will serve as a sauce for the peppers.
For vegetarian version, stir ½ of the onions into 2/3 of the simmered tomatoes with herbs and garlic. This will go for the sauce, and the remaining vegetables will go for stuffing.

Mix rice and mince. For vegetarian version, mix rice with the eggplant, carrots, half of the fried onions and 1/3 of the tomatoes. Stir well and set aside to cool.

Rice&Mince

Rice&Vegetables

Blanch the peppers in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes.
Let the peppers cool a little bit, then remove the stalks and seeds.

Stuff the peppers with rice&meat (or rice&vegetables) and place them, preferably upright, in a large saucepan (we had two smaller saucepans).

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers with Parsley

Add the vegetable sauce, sprinkle with some more parsley leaves, and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes (or 20 minutes if vegetarian version).

Stuffed Pepper

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One Response

  1. Olivia Adams says:

    One of the brilliant pieces i’ve seen this
    week.

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