Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

I highly recommend making stuffed peppers out of slightly spicy Anaheim chiles instead of sweet, boring bell peppers. See if you can find very large chiles to minimize the labor. Use whatever greens and vegetables you like – we had chard and broccoli from the greenhouse. The little cherry tomatoes in this are the best: they burst open with a hot explosion of flavor.
Large Anaheim peppers are the perfect container
for stuffing.

Preparing stuffed peppers is a little bit time-intensive, but the results are so very worth it. Cleaning out the seeds is the most time-consuming part. Remember that it doesn't have to be perfect; a few seeds won't ruin anything.
Peppers with their panels.
Frying the vegetables.
The filling.
6 large Anaheim chile peppers
3 cups cooked rice (black, brown, wild; pick your favorite rice)
6 cloves garlic
1 bunch chard, including stems
½ head broccoli, including stem
1 ½ cups diced mushrooms
1 ½ cups diced zucchini
2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup small cherry tomatoes (chop in half if larger than a grape)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Start with a large pot of cooked rice. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut a lengthwise panel out of the top of each Anaheim chile and clean out the insides (you may need to use a sharp knife to cut out the seedy mass at the top). Leave the stem attached and keep each panel with its chile pepper. Set aside on a greased cookie sheet.

Finely chop the chard and broccoli, separating the florets and chard leaves from the diced stems. (Chard stems look like celery and add a fine crunch to fried vegetables.) In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter and vegetable oil on medium-low heat. (While butter imparts its delicious flavor to the fried vegetables, the oil helps keep it from sticking to the pan.)  Add the garlic, diced chard stems and broccoli stem, and fry for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, chard leaves, and broccoli florets and fry over low to medium-low heat until cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the rice, stir-fry, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.

Through the open panel on the chiles, stuff them with the filling. Stuff as tight as necessary depending on whether it looks like you’ll have extra filling or not enough (depending on how big your chiles were!). Replace the cut-out panel of pepper where it belongs and put the cookie sheet of peppers in the oven. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, checking the bottom of the pepper to see if browned yet. Once the bottoms have browned nicely, broil for a few minutes (watch closely!) until the top is also browned.