Stuffed Italian Peppers in Caramelized Onion and Garlic Sauce

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This dish called stuffed peppers have origins all over the globe.  Different countries have different ways of preparing them, using various fillings and spices.  Natural peppers are so pretty and vibrant, in addition to being delicious and healthy.

Peppers — hot or not — may do more than round out your omelet, spice up your salsa, and make for a colorful stir-fry. They help you get some of your daily vitamins and contain compounds that may be linked to weight loss, pain reduction, and other benefits. Peppers, by the way, are fruits, not vegetables. Whether mild or fiery, peppers are nutrient-dense. They’re one of the richest sources of vitamins A and C.  Just a cup a day can provide more than 100% of your daily needs.

If you cut open a pepper crosswise near the stem, you’ll notice thin walls that divide the pepper into sections. These sections are called the lobes, or cells. Most seed companies describe a well-shaped sweet bell pepper as being “blocky.” The blocky shape comes from this division of the pepper into lobes, and a good, blocky pepper will have three or four lobes. The shape of blocky peppers makes them great for stuffing, slicing into pepper rings and general all-around use.

anatomy-of-a-pepper

Seed companies break the peppers down into two categories: hot and sweet.  The hot types include Cayenne, Jalapeno and Anaheim. Examples of sweet peppers are Bell and Pimiento. Banana and Cherry peppers come both sweet and hot.

Anaheim

Mildly hot, elongated, blunt-ended pods measure from four to 10 inches long and turn from green to red at maturity. These peppers are often called New Mexico chilis because of their long history of being grown in that region. Popular varieties include ‘Anaheim TMR’, ‘NuMex Big Jim’ and ‘NuMex Sunrise’.

Banana

Long, thin-walled pepper that ripens to red or yellow; often used in the immature pale green stage. The hot type is called Hungarian Wax. Varieties include ‘Sweet Banana’ and ‘Giant Yellow Banana’.

Bell

Characterized by large, blocky fruits with three or four lobes, these peppers are about three inches wide and four inches long and they taper slightly. Starting off as dark green to yellow-green, most turn red when fully ripe, although some turn yellow or orange, and even brown or purple. Bell peppers are regularly harvested and used when green. There are around 200 varieties in the Bell group. ‘California Wonder’, ‘Northstar’ and ‘Ace’ belong to this group.

Cayenne

These are hot chile peppers. The fruits are slim, pointed and slightly curved, ranging in length from two to eight inches. Most of the fruits are green, ripening to red. They can be used in either the green or the red stage. Examples are ‘Large Thick Cayenne’, ‘Super Cayenne’ and ‘Long Red Cayenne’.

Cherry

Fruits are cherry or globe-shaped with three cells. They grow on long, upright stems, usually above the leaves of the plant. They are usually orange to deep red when harvested and may be sweet or hot, large or small. Varieties include ‘Cherry Sweet’ and ‘Large Cherry’.

Jalapeno

One of the most well known hot peppers. The three-inch-long by one-inch-wide conical fruits can be eaten green or red and their mildly hot flavor is popular on nachos, salsas and pickled. Varieties include ‘Jalapa’, ‘Jalapeno M’ and ‘TAM Jalapeno’.

Pimiento

These peppers are sweet and have very thick walls. The fruit is conical, two to three inches wide, three to four inches long and slightly pointed. Pimientos are red when ripe, and they’re most commonly used at this stage. Popular varieties include ‘Super Red Pimiento’ and ‘Pimiento L’.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental peppers are a true member of the Capsicum family like the peppers that are grown for food outdoors. Give them lots of sun and keep them evenly moist, and they’ll produce many small cone-shaped peppers. These plants, which you can usually buy through a seed catalog, at a florist shop or even in a supermarket, are very pretty when the miniature peppers start to ripen. Often you’ll have a plant simultaneously splashed with green, yellow, red and orange because each pepper ripens at its own pace.

These mini peppers are edible, but they are hot! You can use them in cooking or for attractive and different hors d’oeuvres along with crackers and a dip. Just be careful not to confuse them with a plant called the Jerusalem or Christmas Cherry. Instead of the cone-shaped peppers, these plants have round, reddish-orange fruits when ripe and they are not edible.

Sources:

1.  Pepper Types.  Retrieved April 4, 2014
 
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Ingredients:

1 Bunch of Curled Parsley 
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
10-12 Italian Peppers 
1/4 lb of ground Lamb
1/4 lb of ground Veal
1 large egg
1 large sweet onion
1/2 of uncooked Basmati Rice
Salt/Pepper and other spices of your choice 
1 Large Jar of Tomato Sauce (I used Caramelized Onions and Garlic)
 
Ingredients
 

How to make Italian Stuffed Peppers:

1.  Open up your packages of Lamb and Veal combine them together in a bowl.  Crack one egg in there and mix well.

Meat and Egg

2.  Take out your Basmati Rice (can be replaced with regular rice too) and boil about 1/2 a cup of it.  I usually add only 2/3 of water indicated on the package to make sure the rice is not cooked through completely.

Rice uncooked3.  While your rice is cooking, wash your parsley and peel few cloves of garlic and onion.

Parsley Garlic4.  Cut off the stems of parsley.  Add garlic and parsley to your food processor and chop them up.  It should yield about half a cup of chopped parsley/garlic mix.

DSC_13295.  Cut up your peeled onion slightly and also process them in a food processor.

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DSC_13376.  Once your rice is slightly cooked add it to the meat mixture along with chopped up parsley/garlic and onion mixtures.

DSC_13347.  Now mix everything well with your hands, this is also a good time to add salt/pepper to taste as well as well as any other spices of your choice.

DSC_1349e8.  Now that your meat mixture is ready, take out your peppers and wash them well.  I used fresh peppers in this recipe, but if you have an issues with having skin on your peppers or you prefer them roasted, you can roast them first before you stuff them up too.

Italian Peppers9.  Cut out the tops of the peppers and wash out the seeds inside.  I used my long ice tea spoon to help me scrape them out (since some peppers are quite thin and long).  Please share if you know a better method for getting it done:)

DSC_134510.  Now it’s time to stuff your peppers with your filling.  It can be a bit challenging since they can break, so be patient and gentle:)   Try to stuff the filling all the way down.

DSC_1352e11.  Once your peppers are ready take out your cast iron pot and carefully place them on the buttom.

DSC_135412.  Open the Pasta Sauce of your choice.  I often use different kids for variety, but I do prefer Caramelized Onions and Garlic flavor the most.  The best pasta sauce I found was in Aldi stores, however when I made these it wasn’t available so I used regular store bought sauce.

DSC_135613.  Pour your pasta sauce over your peppers and add a little bit of hot water to make sure all the peppers are evenly coated.  If you like really thick sauce you can just use two jars.  Keep in mind though that the sauce slightly thickens after you cook your peppers.  (Note: the photo below was before I added the water)

DSC_136114.  Cook (boil) your peppers on medium high for about 40-45 minutes or until they cooked through.  I know some of your might prefer to bake them, I honestly failed on two attempts that I have previously tried and the meat inside didn’t cook through well, so I always do it on stove top and not in the oven.  Once they are ready you can serve them with some sour cream and sprinkle with some cheese and basil for an extra kick…but this is totally optional.

DSC_1404I hope you have enjoyed this recipe.  Please share yours two, I know there are so many other good ones out there…and I always like to change things up a bit too:)

Natalie

 

 

Stuffed Italian Peppers in Caramelized Onion and Garlic Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Stuffed Italian Peppers with ground lamb/veal, basmati rice, herbs and spices in Caramelized Onions and Garlic Sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Russian/Ukrainian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 Bunch of Curled Parsley
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 10-12 Italian Peppers
  • ¼ lb of ground Lamb
  • ¼ lb of ground Veal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • ½ cup of uncooked Basmati Rice
  • Salt/Pepper and other spices of your choice
  • Sour Cream/Basil/Cheese to serve on the side (optional)
  • 1 Large Jar of Tomato Sauce (I used Caramelized Onions and Garlic)
Instructions
  1. Open up your packages of Lamb and Veal combine them together in a bowl. Crack one egg in there and mix well.
  2. Take out your Basmati Rice (can be replaced with regular rice too) and boil about ½ a cup of it. I usually add only ⅔ of water indicated on the package to make sure the rice is not cooked through completely.
  3. While your rice is cooking, wash your parsley and peel few cloves of garlic and onion.
  4. Cut off the stems of parsley. Add garlic and parsley to your food processor and chop them up. It should yield about half a cup of chopped parsley/garlic mix.
  5. Cut up your peeled onion slightly and also process it in a food processor.
  6. Once your rice is slightly cooked add it to the meat along with chopped up parsley/garlic and onion mixtures.
  7. Now mix everything well with your hands, this is also a good time to add salt/pepper to taste as well as well as any other spices of your choice.
  8. Now that your meat mixture is ready, take out your peppers and wash them well.
  9. Cut out the tops of the peppers and wash out the seeds inside.
  10. Now it’s time to stuff your peppers with your filling. It can be a bit challenging since they can break, so be patient and gentle:) Try to stuff the filling all the way down.
  11. Once your peppers are ready take out your cast iron pot and carefully place them on the buttom.
  12. Open the Pasta Sauce of your choice.
  13. Pour your pasta sauce over your peppers and add a little bit of hot water to make sure all the peppers are evenly coated. If you like really thick sauce you can just use two jars. Keep in mind though that the sauce slightly thickens after you cook your peppers.
  14. Cook (boil) your peppers on medium high for about 40-45 minutes or until they cooked through. Once they are ready you can serve them with some sour cream and sprinkle with some cheese and basil for an extra kick…but this is totally optional.

 

 

Baby Veal Sausages, Mash Potatoes and Red Caviar

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Have you ever been in situations, where you have unexpected visitors, your fridge is almost empty and you only have half an hour to make a meal?  I have…many times actually.  I always enjoy having friends and family over at my house,  but I am not always prepared for it.  However, having some experience in cooking taught me that even simple meals when cooked appropriately and which are well plated can look and taste amazing.

Not every day though that we are having red caviar as fridge left overs, so let me just make it clear from the get go:)  I know this product is often a luxury of course for many, us included, but we had a stash which was few days old from another party we had earlier that week.  Anyway, to make a long story short all we had left was some veal sausages in a freezer, few russet potatoes, 1 avocado well and our red caviar left overs. This is what I came up with in a little over half an hour…Very light and simple meal, no serious cooking skills required:)

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Servings: Will yield about 4 servings

Ingredients:

Pack of Baby Veal sausages
6 Russet Potatoes
1 Avocado
1/2 cup of Red Caviar
1/4 cup of fresh chopped Scallions
1 table spoon of Butter
1 table spoon of Vegetable
Oil Salt/Pepper to taste Dill for garnish
 
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How to Make Baby Veal Sausages with Potatoes and Red Caviar.

1.  Wash and peel your potatoes cut them in large cube pieces, add to the pot of cold water and boil them for about 25 minutes or until tender.  I usually use the fork, if it goes in smoothly I know they are done.

2.  While potatoes are cooking, in a separate pot boil your sausages for 5 five minutes or until almost ready (the time will depend on whether they were frozen or not).   Once they are ready take them out and let them cool of for 10 minutes.41JX0UF-3NL

3.  Now prepare your vegetables.  Wash and chop your fresh scallions.  Then cut your alligator pear (yes it’s another name for – avocado) in half  and take out the seed.  Then either cut it up in pieces, or the way I do it is use my avocado slicer to quickly scoop it out while cutting in equal pieces.  I use a similar product to this one, out of few that I’ve tried this one is most durable and really lasts.  We provided a link for your convenience in our shop page if you want more information.

4.  Now that your sausages have cooled off, take a sharp knife and make cross like cuts on the top and on the bottom of them.  Make it about 1 cm long for baby sausages and a about an inch if you use regular sausages.

5.  Heat up your pan, add some vegetable oil and now fry your sausages slightly on the pan for about a minute on each side.  This will make them open up and give them a nice crispy taste and a beautiful color.

6.  Now it’s probably time to check on your potatoes.  Once they are ready drain the water then while they are hot add your butter, salt, pepper and scallions.  Make sure to go easy on salt, because you will be adding your caviar soon, which is also salty.  Mix them all well, so butter will melt and potatoes will be moist.  If you don’t have butter you can also sprinkle them with a little bit of Olive Oil.

7.  Once everything is done, you are ready to plate your dish.  One once side of your dish add your potatoes, then sprinkle them with your red caviar and left over dill and scallions.  Line your sausages and avocados pieces together on the other side of the plate and you main dish is ready in a little over half an hour!

8.  Finally if would like to serve it on individual plates you can take some a piece of scallions and tie it around the sausages, stand them up on the plate, then add your potatoes and some dill for garnish.

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Love,

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Baby Veal Sausages, Mash Potatoes and Red Caviar
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baby Veal Sausages with Mash Potatoes, Avocado, Scallions and Red Caviar
Author:
Cuisine: Russian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Pack of Baby Veal sausages
  • 6 Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Avocado
  • ½ cup of Red Caviar
  • ¼ cup of fresh chopped Scallions
  • 1 table spoon of Butter
  • 1 table spoon of Vegetable Oil
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Dill for garnish
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel your potatoes cut them in large cube pieces, add to the pot of cold water and boil them for about 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. In a separate pot boil your sausages for five minutes or until almost ready (the time will depend on whether they were frozen or not). Once they are ready take them out and let them cool of for 10 minutes.
  3. Now prepare your vegetables. Wash and chop your fresh scallions. Cut avocado in half and take out the seed. Slice avocado in ling thin strips.
  4. Now that your sausages have cooled off, take a sharp knife and make cross like cuts on the top and on the bottom of them. Make it about 1 cm long for baby sausages and a about an inch if you use regular sausages.
  5. Heat up your pan, add some vegetable oil and now fry your sausages slightly on the pan for about a minute on each side.
  6. Once your potatoes are ready drain the water and then add your butter, salt, pepper and scallions. Mix them all well, so butter will melt and potatoes will be moist.
  7. To plate your dish: add your potatoes, then sprinkle them with your red caviar and left over dill and scallions. Line your sausages and avocados pieces together on the other side of the plate and your main dish is ready! Enjoy!

Copyright © 2013 Flavor Shades