Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Basmati Rice and Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
 We've had quite the heat wave here in LA. I call it a slap-in-the-face kind of heat. Like the moment you leave an air-conditioned space and step outside, it literally feels like a hot slap in your face.

The other night at 6:30pm while driving to this awesome show at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, the heat was still holding strong at 103! Good thing it was an indoor performance and we absolutely loved it. I believe they showcase different dancers until August 14th so go see it if you love dance.

The following day I had some serious grocery shopping to do and made the decision to do it at 7am in order to avoid the heat. I know, its cold at the supermarket but the mere thought of loading and unloading the car with my kids in tow in 100 degree heat was unbearable. Besides, the market is pretty empty at that time of day and I love roaming the isles in peace. Slow, meditative, focused, before-work grocery shopping! I love it as its so rare that it actually happens. But when it does, it leads to great things, in which case this time it lead to beautiful yellow and green bell peppers.

The minute I saw them I knew I had to make stuffed bell peppers, and for some odd reason they were $1 a piece which never happens. I grabbed 10 and practically skipped home to begin cooking. I don't make them often and have been trying to perfect my bell pepper recipe for some time now. And I am happy to say that I think yesterday I finally DID IT!

End result is beautifuly blistered exterior with super
tender filling!
 They were so tender, a little spicy and sweet at the same time, and the basmati rice and ground turkey filling I made was beyond moist and delicious. I ate 2 huge ones for lunch, gave 1 each to the kids, and cannot wait to have leftovers this evening again! They are even better the next day. I think I now know the trick to making a delicious meat stuffed pepper. Here goes: saute all the vegetables you will mix in to the meat first to marry the flavors, and leave the meat uncooked. Once you mix the cooked ingredients in to the raw ground meat, the juices will start to combine and continue to do so as you slowly cook the peppers stove top. The end result is comfort food at its finest!


6 large bell peppers, tops cut off and kept in tact without stem, inside washed and seeded.
1 lb fat free ground turkey
1 large carrot finely grated
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 celery stalks finely chopped
1 large handful of dill chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed or finely minced
½ cup cooked basmati rice
2 cups cups crushed canned tomatoes (preferably San Marzano-available at whole foods and other specialty stores)
4 tablespoons chicken consommé (seasoning mix, can be found in kosher section of most markets “Osem” excellent brand)
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


1. Prepare your rice and set aside but keep warm. In a large sauté pan, heat 3-4 table spoons of olive oil and sauté the onions, carrots and celery with a touch of salt until soft (about 6-10 minutes) then add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

2. Put the ground turkey in to a large mixing bowl, and add to it the sauté of veggies, chopped dill, cooked rice, 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes, 1 ½ tablespoons chicken consommé, 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. Using your hands mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

3. Fill a pot large enough to fit the 7 peppers standing up (first pic at top of page) with enough water to submerge slightly more then ½ the height of the pepper. Bring the water to a boil and add to it the remaining ½ cup of crushed tomatoes and 2 tablespoons chicken consommé. Once water is boiling, generously stuff each pepper with the meat and rice mixture and lower them gently in to the boiling water.

4. Once all the peppers have been placed, cover them with the little pepper tops and place a lid to cover everything. Cook with lid on for about 10 minutes, then partially uncover the lid, drop heat to low and simmer for additional 2-2 ½ hrs until peppers are very tender.
Serve peppers hot or warm with a dalop of cold sour cream!


No comments:

Post a Comment