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My Neighbors Stuffed Peppers

Posted Sep 26 2009 10:01pm

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. 

YUM!!

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.


red pepper flickr image credit

Thank you Becky!!

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