Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Moroccan Lamb Stuffed Peppers
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I make stuffed peppers once or twice a year. When I was newly married, they were touted as an inexpensive dish that all budget conscious cooks should master. The trouble, then and now, is that they're not a bargain to make and it's really possible for non-vegan types to buy a steak or gorgeous piece of fish for what they cost to assemble. Now, for those who love stuffed peppers, the cost is inconsequential and they can be enjoyed at any time of year. Those who like, but do not love them, are usually more circumspect and will enjoy them towards the end of summer when peppers are plentiful and can be purchased for just pennies on the dollar. Following the holiday, I was left with 6 gorgeous red peppers of the non-bargain variety. They had originally been purchased for a stir-fry of red and green peppers that never happened. I wanted to use the peppers before they began to wither in the vegetable crisper and stuffed peppers came to mind. I ran with the idea. I have several recipes for them and, I promise, before we're finished with each other, you'll have them all. However, the one I want to share with you today, is one I used when my children were still fairly young and not yet ready for truly spicy food. These are vaguely Moroccan in taste but they are mild and very pleasant on the tongue. I use lamb to make these because I think it is a better fit for the spices used in the recipe. The recipe appeared in Sunset magazine nearly thirty years ago. I've played with it, but it closely follows the one they published all those years ago. If you are looking for a recipe for stuffed peppers, I think you'll like this one. Technically, you need not serve anything with them, but I think they look so naked when plated by themselves that I weaken and serve them with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed spinach. Here's how the peppers are made.
Moroccan Lamb Stuffed Peppers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Sunset Magazine
4 large bell peppers
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup finely chopped onion
1-1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg
Salt (About 1 teaspoon)
Optional garnish: toasted pine nuts
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Stem peppers. Cut tops from bell peppers. Reserve. Remove ribs and seeds. Finely chop reserved tops. Set aside
3) Brown lamb in large frying pan set over medium heat. Add onion and reserved bell pepper. Cook until onion is limp and becomes translucent. Remove from heat. Discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Stir in rice, catsup, raisins, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper and egg. Add salt to taste.
4) Fill peppers with rice mixture. Bake until peppers are soft when pierced with tip of a knife, about 30 to 40 minutes. Garnish with pine nuts if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Lamb, Rice and Feta Stuffed Peppers - Farmgirl Gourmet
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - A Bitchin' Kitchen
Vegetable and Barley Stuffed Peppers - Proud Italian Cook
Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Christine's Cuisine
Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers - Modern Comfort Food
Red Peppers Stuffed with Orzo and Feta Cheese - One Perfect Bite
Creole Stuffed Peppers - Deep South Dish
Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers - Cookography