Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

Making Stuffed Peppers. 
This is the beginning of our food blog.  I have been teasing my husband, John, for years that we needed our own Food Network show.   This first blog was inspired by the introduction of quinoa to our life.  I had gone shopping with my sister-in-laws and one of them got a batch of it at Whole Foods.  It got me curious and on our Saturday shopping trip I picked up some. 
I read up on how to fix it and made a batch to try.  It was pretty good.  I loved the texture and how good it was in fiber and protein.  Then on Sunday, we were watching Guy's Big Bite and he made stuffed peppers with quinoa.  So we decided to make some stuffed peppers. 
We have never had stuffed peppers in our years together.  My husband had talked about his parents eating them when he was a kid and there was a tone of general distaste.  But we were ready for an adventure.  We have also been eating crazy good, so here it is. 
First we had to soak the quinoa for five minutes.  There is a bitter coating.  I did it in a mesh strainer sitting in a bowl.  This allows me to rinse it a couple times after it soaks.  For this recipe, we used a cup and a half of quinoa.
Then John pulled out the Sweet Italian Turkey sausage.  This is enough for four servings.  He then strips off the outer membrane so he can brown it.  


It helps to add a little olive oil since this is turkey sausage, there isn't a lot of fat.  It started to smell amazing right away.  Just like an Italian market. 

Then he chopped a few mushrooms.  My husband does all the chopping.  He is a much better chopper than I am.

Then we put the soaked and rinsed quinoa in the rice steamer with twice the amount of water.  In ours, it was a cup and a quarter of quinoa and two and a half cups of water.  

Then for flavor we added a heaping tablespoon of soup base.  
More chopping.  A few slices of onion.  

Drain the bit of grease off the turkey sausage.

We cut the peppers in half.  Well my husband did.
My husband had to point out what he called the umbilical cord of the pepper.  The little black tail on the bottom. 

 We added the onions and mushrooms to the turkey sausage to soften them up.

A little olive oil to moisten it up.

We then added the finished quinoa. 

Some Italian spices.  It is important to rub dry spices to open up the essential oils.  After eating, we decided more spices would have been good.

Finally we stuffed the peppers.

We set the oven at 350 degrees.  Later we moved it up to 400 after checking on them.


We added some grated Parmesan and in the oven they go.

We had a whole bunch of leftovers so we saved the extra for our next batch.  My husband folds back the Ziploc so the food doesn't get in the zip part.  That is his tip for this batch.

They look good and smelled awesome.

In our house a recipe is just a guideline.  It is made to be tweaked.  We cooked the peppers for about twenty-five minutes, they could have gone longer to soften them up.  We also said we would add more spice and some red pepper flakes to the next round.  The Parmesan was good, but got pretty crusty.  Next time we will mix it into the filling.  I think it would add a good twang.
Overall a good first effort.  We will update with recipes and other food reviews.  Including our favorite cooking shows.
Happy Cooking!

PS. All this steam from my rice steamer is also good for my skin!