Remember when Stuffed Green Peppers were a thing of horror?
Usually over-cooked, limp, bitter green peppers with a rather tasteless stuffing, featuring Minute Rice, smothered in faux cheese and tomato sauce, they were not a favorite.
Now I love stuffed peppers of any color and any flavor. I make them often in the fall.
This one uses some of the wonderful spices I bought in Morocco.
Stuffed Yellow Peppers, with Beef and Orzo
Total time: 45 minutes
- 6oz (180gr) ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 slices ginger, minced (1 – 1 1/2 tbs)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups (16oz, 450gr) tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup (3oz, 90gr) orzo
- 1/3 cup Greek olives, chopped
- 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
- 2 nicely shaped yellow bell peppers
- Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Cut peppers in half the long way (try to find the best flat sides before cutting so that they will lay nicely) and remove stem end and seeds.
- When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish that will just hold them (if possible).
- Keep water boiling and add orzo, cook according to package directions (usually 8 – 10 minutes). Drain in a strainer if your colander has big holes.
- In nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, mustard and cinnamon. Sauté 1 minute.
- Add beef and sauté until cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks.
- Add tomatoes, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until needed.
- When ready remove from heat and stir in orzo, olives and feta.
- Spoon mixture into the pepper halves.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C).
- Remove from oven and serve.
Note: If all the stuffing doesn’t fit into the peppers, keep warm over very low heat while peppers bake. Serve on the side.
Did I forget to mention shopping in Marrakesh?
Yes, of course I bought pointy-toed slippers and wide-legged pants and earrings…. I did spend rather a lot of time in the souks, after all.
But it was the little ceramic bowls and the spices that kept drawing me back.The spices were amazing – such strong aromas that make anything I buy here in France positively insipid.
The cumin (yellow bowl) was double-bagged in plastic and I could still smell it through the suitcase. What a wonderful scent.
And the cinnamon (orange)….. I could move to Marrakesh just to get cinnamon like this all the time. I would eat oatmeal 3 times a day just to have this cinnamon on it.
I also bought saffron (blue & white bowl) and za’atar (herbs in blue bowl).
The za’atar in the souks is the herb (I learned) not the ‘condiment’ which is what I have purchased here in France in the past. The herb is similar to a wild, mountain thyme.
And it is….
Wild, I mean.
When the young man put it in the bag for me he made sure that I could tell the difference between the herbs and the sticks or stems that were in the mix.
He pulled out the leaves and said “za’atar”.
The he pulled out a stick and said “not za’atar”.
I may be a bit slow sometimes, but I think I got it.
Did I forget to mention shopping in Barcelona?
In the big market in Barcelona, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria I found za’atar, the condiment. It’s in the jar in front and you can see the sesame seeds in it.
It does not have sticks.
Something that I couldn’t find in the souks in Marrakesh was sumac. No one had heard of it.
But I found it in Barcelona and very different from what I had previously from France. The tube is the sumac I bought here. The dark red crystals are what I bought in Barcelona.
Just when I think I know stuff…..
Since I was in Spain it only seemed right to buy a big tin of smoked paprika.
I’m ready for winter cooking.