Monday, March 7, 2011
Oh, Stuff It (a pepper, that is!)
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, diced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups canned corn, drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
4 red or yellow peppers (or a combination!), caps removed and centers hallowed out
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon soy or Worchestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add wine to deglaze skillet, scraping up the browned bits.
In a large bowl, combine sausage, rice, onion, mushrooms, half of the tomatoes, corn, egg and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff peppers with this mixture and stand them up in an ovensafe skillet with 1/2 inch of water. Bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a pot or another deep skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic browns. Using a slotted spoon, removed garlic and peppers from oil; discard. Add cumin and stir. Add remaining tomatoes, crushing them with the back of a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, turn heat to medium-low, and add the soy sauce (or Worchestershire). Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add sugar as necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Puree in a blender or food processor and keep warm.
Serve the peppers with sauce spooned over.
As a side note, I tried to speed this recipe up a bit because I was hungry, so I bumped the oven temp to 400 and cooked the peppers for 30 minutes. No bueno. They were not as tender as I would have liked. I suggest being patient and cooking them for the full 45 minutes, saving these for a weekend dinner, or covering them with foil while they cook (which should help steam them, speeding up the cooking time).
I would absolutely make these peppers again, but perhaps even more importantly, I'll make this tomato sauce often! I wish I had made twice as much sauce (it was so good that there were no leftovers ... we mopped it all up with bread!). It could have actually used a bit more heat (maybe it's not such a good move to remove the garlic and red pepper flakes before finishing it), but I imagine it would be delicious with something like chicken parmesan. I think I'll have to try that ... and soon :)