Monday, December 10, 2007


I have not disappeared! It's just that time of year. Holidays, social obligations, awards screening season, hibernation. Sadly, I have not had much time for cooking. Or, more accurately, I have not had much time for thinking about cooking. And with me, thinking and planning is more than half the battle when it comes to cooking. Ironically, now is the time that J-Cat has been getting increasingly interested in cooking. This weekend, he made me breakfast both mornings, and seemed to actually really have fun doing it. Yesterday he asked me what I was craving, and I answered hash browns, even though I did not really think he would attempt it. I love classic grated hash browns, but I can never seem to get it unless I go somewhere in the south with a Waffle House. What's with the preference for home fries around here? Home fries are whack. Anyway, J-Cat was determined to give me my home fries, so he googled around for some recipes, decided that he would pick and choose parts of various recipes, then essentially just wing it. Awww, just like me. And he said it was really fun! I guess he's finally starting to understand why I love it like I do.

The result was more like a giant latke than classic hash browns, but I love latkes so I still thought it was tasty.

Anyway, no Sunday Supper last night, as I was enjoying a lovely crafting afternoon at Leah's. I did manage to finish another stripe and a half on my ripple afghan, but it still doesn't look like I'm making any progress whatsoever. So since I do not have a great experiment to share, here's one of my quick and easy made up dishes from last week -- Stuffed Peppers.

Growing up in my household, I don't think I ever really tasted the classic versions of many foods. Both of my parents were totally incapable of making a dish without completely tweaking it to suit their tastes. This was not a bad thing, as my mom's meatloaf and my dad's burgers were awesome. I just never knew what real meatloaf tasted like. So Stuffed Peppers is kind of my homage to that. I don't even know what Stuffed Peppers are usually like. I don't think I've ever eaten them. I don't know what people usually stuff in them. I just kinda made this up.

The peppers were giant, so one per person was plenty. I stuffed them with a mixture of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, spices, cheese, and bulgur wheat. Recipe after the jump:


4 large green bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the bulgur wheat with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to steam for 15-20 minutes. While the bulgur is steaming, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add ground beef, breaking up with the spoon, and saute just until it begins to brown. On a hot spot on the skillet, add the tomato paste and let carmelize for a minute before mixing in. Add the tomatoes, reserving about a quarter cup, and stir to combine. Drain off any excess fat, if desired. When the bulgur is tender, drain with a fine sieve and return to bowl. Add the browned beef, seasonings, and cheese and toss to combine well. Set aside while you prep the peppers. Slice off the top of the pepper and remove all seeds and ribs. Fill with the beef mixture and place in a baking dish just large enough to hold the four peppers (this will help prevent the peppers from falling over when they soften). Spoon tomatoes over the top to prevent drying. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, then sprinkle cheese over top and return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.


Anonymous said...

Brooklyn Label has real hash browns. we love em.

I cant digest peppers so much the older I get. looks yummy though.

faycat said...

These would also be good as stuffed zucchini, just halve and scoop out the seeds and fill.

I'm so going to Brooklyn Label this weekend, thanks for the tip!!!

Leah said...

I immediately went to the Brooklyn Label website to check it out. It looks so good--I'm telling you, Brooklyn Heights may fancy itself fancy, but it has kinda crappy chow for eating out.

Mmmm...stuffed peppers...hey, what did your folks do to their meatloaf? Sounds intriguing...

faycat said...

My mom put random sauces in the meatloaf. Especially packets of sauces from Chinese restaurants, like hot mustard, duck sauce, etc. And she always used hoisin sauce for the sweetness. So now I use all of those sauces, too, and it's the only kind of meatloaf I actually like.