Did you miss me?
I did miss you all. This week, for the first time since I started The Money Principle (three and a half years now) I didn’t publish a scheduled post.
You know it is not because I had nothing to say; just, I was very busy and still feel very tired because of jet-lag. The good news is that my PhD student passed and her thesis was much praised (she has to make very minor corrections).
Tonight I’ll try and make it up to you by sharing the recipe – and pictures – for making one of my favourite dishes: stuffed peppers.
Peppers, I believe, are a great vegetable. I like to eat them raw (and particularly the red ones have a lot of vitamin C), I like them roasted (the very thought of roasted peppers and mango salad makes my mouth water), I love them fried and I adore them stuffed.
Still I never tried to make stuffed peppers.
I believed that this is the main dish equivalent to making macaroons: really hard and fiddly (I don’t do ‘fiddly’ because it becomes ‘messy’ and then I have to spend days cleaning after myself).
Stuffed peppers were fiddly when my mum made them. She was a cooking perfectionist, you see. So everything had to be ‘just right’.
When my sister asked me the other week whether we’d like her to cooked stuffed peppers, I was about to say ‘no’ – after all it was her weekend to rest. Thank goodness she insisted.
Cooking stuffed peppers that will warm your heart and you could impress your dinner guests with is so easy. You can eat for less: less money and less effort.
Here is what you need:
- 1 onion
- 400 g mince beef (it is worth paying a bit more for high quality mince)
- 500 g mince pork
- 2 mugs full of rice
- 500 g tomato passata
- Salt and basil (you can use any herb that you like)
This mix is enough for 15 peppers.
Here is the eat for less part: cooking stuffed peppers at home works out at approximately 70 pence per pepper.
You will love it and your children (if you have any) will love it although they probably won’t eat the pepper itself. Wholesome, nutritious food you can even offer when you have a dinner party: if anything your guests will be very impressed.
This is what to do:
Chop the onion and fry in a couple of table spoons of oil. Use a pan that is large enough for all ingredients.
When the onion is soft and starts to become honey-coloured put the two lots of mincemeat in the pan. Stir so that while the mince is browning it also separates in small bits.
When the mince is brown and separated add the rice and swirl around several time (until the rice is well mixed with the mince). Add the tomato passata, the salt and herbs and three mugs of boiling water.
(Note: for this mix the rule is that rice to water are in proportion 1 to 1 1/2; in other words for every mug of rice you add a mug and a half of water.)
Lower the heat and boil until the water has boiled and mixture is the texture of strong stew. This is what it looks like when ready:
While the mixture is boiling, wash the pepper and dry them.
Cut off the top part like that:
Put the peppers on a tray.
When the mixture is ready spoon it in the peppers (this sounds fiddly but it took me, someone who can’t stuff a letter in an envelope, about eight minutes to do).
Put the stuffed peppers back on the tray.
You can see that on the picture the peppers are standing up. I phoned my sister to check something and it turned out they need to be placed on their side – otherwise the rice dries up.
Add a mug of hot water and put the stuffed peppers in a preheated over (200C).
It takes approximately 25-30 minutes for the peppers to be ready.
I serve them with delicious Greek yoghurt: this is how we eat them on the Balkans. Try it but you don’t have to eat them with yoghurt – you can have salad or feta cheese with them.
And you know what?
I usually make the whole doze of stuffing but I don’t make 15 stuffed peppers all at once. Last Tuesday, I made 9 peppers (we ate six and three were left for lunch) and froze the rest of the stuffing. Next week it will take me ten minutes to prepare delicious stuffed peppers for dinner; and I can manage this even after a hard day at the office.