My new neighbors Becky and Matt are absolutely wonderful. They are young, hip, kind and an absolute gas to hang around. I adore their one hundred plus year old house. I think it's wild that our house closing date is the same. They moved in last year. I can't wait to celebrate the love for our homes a year from now. I also love how synchronistic it is that Matt's birthday and namesake is the same as my son. They think I am a hippie. When they shared that with me -- it totally cracked me up!!
One really can't choose your neighors. I feel that I am very lucky that I have them for mine!
When I first moved in Becky dropped off her famous stuffed peppers.
They are truly the best I have ever had! A few nights ago I made them. I didn't grow up with stuffed peppers, my mom never made them. Most of the stuffed peppers I have tried over the years have been rather ordinary.
These were not ordinary.
The secret in my opinion to her recipe is the undercooked orzo - what a cool idea!! Also chicken broth.
I didn't follow her exact recipe as I didn't have all that was needed.
Here was my version:
I made my standard spaghetti sauce. I used for the first time a chicken sweet italian sausage. Very yummy. My sauce is basically lots of sweet onion, garlic. I used a large can of fire roasted organic tomato with some dried basil, oregano and fresh pepper. My sauce isn't thick so it parallels the sauce Becky typically makes for this recipe.
I then made a quick cook mixture of couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa that I get from Trader Joe's. I cooked this in chicken broth - the directions said simmer for ten minutes, I simmered it for eight. What this does is make a really specific texture for the grain - it's not mushy. It's perfect!!
I then mixed the grain mixture with my sauce, parmesan cheese and shredded zuchinni and then stuff the peppers. I added chicken stock to the bottom of the baking dish, covered tighly and baked for 45 minutes.
I made one batch of grain. Mixed with the sauce etc -- it made two large stuffed peppers and enough filling to freeze for another time.