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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Greek Stuffed Peppers

This is really fun to make. It is Giada's Greek Stuffed Peppers recipe. It is timely, so make sure to give yourself at least a couple hours to work on this... or else you will be eating at 10:30pm (i learned the hard way). You can prep the stuffing the night before if necessary too!

1 (28 oz) can of Italian tomatoes (Giada likes to break up canned tomatoes with fork and knife. I just used diced tomatoes.)
2 zucchinis grated (with cheese grater) (funny story... i swear to God that i bought zucchinis in the zucchini section, but when i got home- they were actually cucumbers. I had 1 zucchini on hand, so i used 1 zucchini and 1 cucumber (grated both). I think it was actually a very refreshing summer twist to this recipe.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves Giada says that mint leaves to the Greek are like basil leaves to the Italians. That said, Basil would be a great substitution. I, however, only had Cilantro... so I used that. I thought it would add to my Summer Bell Pepper Twist.
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano (Parmesan would be a good substitution if need be.)
1/4 cup EVOO
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
(or vege broth for vegetarians)
1 1/2 cup Orzo (I had only 1 cup Orzo, so i combined that with 1 cup Rice Pilaf, which was a great combination) You can use Cous Cous too! (I am the substitution queen)
6 bell peppers

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (please do this now - or else after the 1hr+ preparation, you will have to wait for the oven to heat)

2.Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the zucchini (and cucumber), mint (cilantro), cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

3.Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. (2 separate pans of broth if you are combining two+ rice/pasta) Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. (I also half cooked the rice pilaf in a separate pan for about 9 minutes). The orzo (and rice) should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo (and rice) to the large bowl with the other vegetables (leaving the leftover broth in the pot). Stir the orzo (and rice) into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth to a 3-quart baking dish.

4. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a Very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.

5.Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.

**The remaining orzo mixture that goes un-used is awesome for lunch the next day!! The peppers themselves also make for good leftovers.
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  1. You are so funny fancy pants! Did you wow your guests?
    I will def have to try this because 1. it's vegetarian (kind of), and 2. IT'S A STUFFED BELL PEPPER! yum!

  2. I was supposed to be cooking dinner for a bunch of people, then everyone bailed! And i only cooked for Russ and his cousin. Oh well. At least it was practice. They were soo good tho!