- 7-8 small peppers, stems carefully removed to make little 'lids' and hollowed out
- 1 lb. ground beef (or lamb if you can find it)
- 1.5 plain white or jasmine rice (soak this in water while you core the peppers)
- 3 medium onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. fresh or dried dill + 1 tsp. for sauce
- 2 tsp. fresh or dried mint + 1/2 tsp. for sauce
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 c. heavy cream (optional)
Prick the bottom of the peppers several times with a fork. Fill with meat and rice mixture and place 'lids' on. Lightly oil a large skillet that has a tight lid. Place the peppers inside so that they will stay upright. I used a zucchini as a spacer and to get rid of the damn thing.
Mix the tomato paste into the chicken broth and add the remaining dill and mint. Pour this liquid into the pan, adding water until it reaches halfway up the peppers. Dot with bits of butter, bring to a boil, reduce to a light simmer, and cover the pan. Simmer gently (so you don't destroy the peppers) for 30-40 minutes, until rice is cooked.
Remove the peppers carefully and keep warm while you make the sauce. Reduce the remaining liquid in the pan until it's thick. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. I served the sauce on the side for guests to add as they liked.
These were mmm...mmm good, and nowhere near as bland as stuffed peppers I'd had in the past. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have packed the filling in so much (I was trying to use it all up). This recipe has the added benefit of impressing people with the cuteness of the peppers with their little caps, and the sauce will knock your socks off. Enjoy!
P.S. Actually the last thing I made this weekend was Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I followed The Joy of Cooking recipe exactly (well, I doubled the chocolate chips. Come on--who adds 1 cup when there's 2 in a package?). They turned out fabulously and also used up 3.5 cups of oats, which I'm hoping to consume before the flour moths do.