Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stuffed Peppers

2 - 4 servings

1 c brown rice
1/2 c red lentils
3 c chicken broth (or water)
4 poblano peppers (or medium green or red peppers)
1 T chili powder
1-1/2 c cooked, chopped meat (e.g. leftovers)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (or 1-1/2 lb ripe tomatoes, chopped)
1 small can corn
1 can black beans
4 oz grated cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, Swiss, whatever)

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a covered saucepan. Add the brown rice, cover, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, broil or roast the peppers on all sides over direct heat until the skin begins to blister and blacken. Put the roasted peppers in a paper bag, and close the bag tightly.

After the rice has cooked for 30 minutes, add the rinsed red lentils to the rice, cover, and continue cooking on low for 15 - 20 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking time, check to see that the rice is not boiling dry, and that the rice and lentils are tender. You may need to add a little water to the pot. When the rice and lentils are cooked, and the liquid is absorbed, set the pot off the heat, and keep the pot covered.

Peel the peppers. Carefully, cut out the top, and remove the seeds and membranes, and discard them. Set the peeled peppers aside.

Mix together the rice and lentil mixture, the chili powder, the chopped meat, and the minced garlic. If necessary, add salt to taste. Stuff the peppers with the filling.

Lightly grease a baking dish. Drain the diced tomatoes and place them in the bottom of the dish. Drain the black beans and pour over the tomatoes. Drain the corn and pour over the other vegetables. Arrange the stuffed peppers on top of the vegetables. Spoon the rest of the filling mixture around the peppers. Top with the grated cheese. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes, until the peppers are tender, and the vegetables are hot.

Note: I've never tried this with fresh tomatoes. I'm guessing, though that you should cook them down a bit to cook off some of their liquid.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crispy Potatoes

4 medium Bliss or Yukon potatoes
2 T olive oil
1/2 green or red pepper, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c shredded cheese (you decide which one)

Set the oven to 450ºF. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.

Rinse the potatoes. With a paring knife, remove the eyes from the potatoes, and cut them into 3/4" cubes. Place the potatoes in a small bowl, and cover with rinse with cold water. Drain the potatoes in a colander.

Put the drained potatoes back in the bowl, and toss with the olive oil. Remove the skillet from the oven, and spread the potatoes in the skillet. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes.

Stir in the pepper strips and the minced garlic. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle on the cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes, and turn off the oven. Let them sit for fifteen minutes or so before serving.