Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Authentic Greek Stuffed Peppers - Greek Feast

We love Greek food around Casa de Elle Beau. We'll eat it any time, any day and any place (well, as long as it's clean). I'm convinced Mr. T. was Greek in a past life. He's obsessed with Greek food and could literally eat it for every meal.

This weekend we went out for a wonderful meal at a local Greek place. I kept seeing these gorgeous stuffed peppers passing by. We don't eat lamb so I couldn't try them at the restaurant. So now this whole week I've been craving one of those terrific looking peppers. @greekfood from Twitter graciously pointed me toward a delicious-looking Greek stuffed pepper recipe. I'm not big on raisins in my food so I decided to wing it and came up with my own version. They really were terrific. Mr. T. and I ended up with the perfect Greek feast. To top things off they come in at about 200 calories per pepper. All I did was make a Greek salad and add a couple dolmades from Trader Joe's. A simple and delicious springtime meal. Opa!

My Version of an Authentic Greek Stuffed Peppers Recipe
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cup grape tomatoes
1 lb ground turkey
½ cup parboiled rice
1.5 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
salt (I use Goya light adobo salt)
5-6 peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken broth (I use Knorr)
1 cup water
Juice of one lemon
Zest of 1/2 lemon 
1 tsp salt
1 package fingerling potatoes (my package was 1 pound, 10 oz but use less or more as you like)

Saute onion and garlic over medium heat with a bit of cooking spray or olive oil. (Be careful not to burn the garlic or onion. If you do, it's best to throw it out and start over.) Take grape tomatoes and dump them in a blender to make a fresh tomato sauce. When the onions are translucent, pour in the tomato sauce. Turn up heat slightly and cook until the liquid reduces. Add ground turkey (you can use any meat you like really). Add rice and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the meat and rice are cooking, cut the tops off the peppers and hollow out the inside seeds and membrane stuff. Fill peppers with meat mixture leaving a little extra space at the top. Put tops back on peppers and place in a roasting pan that will fit the peppers and potatoes. Scatter washed and scrubbed fingerling potatoes around the peppers. Add 2-3 tbsp olive oil, chicken broth, water, lemon juice and zest. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper across all of the potatoes to ensure they are well seasoned.

Bake in the oven for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes. Towards the end I removed the peppers and turned the oven up to broil. Broil potatoes for 10 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown. Reduce heat in oven and keep everything warm until ready to serve.

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