Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

I have just realized that sausage meat makes for a very tasty stuffing. For the first time I use a packaged sausage mix. Dubious at first, I cook the meat as I would ground beef. A little onion, garlic, a few choice spices, and the meat emanates a fragrant aroma. It also helps that the sausage is already flavored. We eat some with rice. Leftovers could be used in so many ways. This time they will be stuffing for peppers.

Grocery stores have been carrying bags of small colorful mini peppers for a few years now. They make a crunchy addition to salad, a delicious side sauteed with onions and now they are a vessel for my leftover sausage. It is a bit tricky to stuff them. I read an Ottolenghi recipe that tells me to first make a vee shaped cut. Then lift the flap and fill the pepper. The first one is experimental, but usable. I get better with each pepper I work on! Filled peppers roast in a hot oven and out they come looking mouthwatering.... temptation personified. 

Serves 4

12-15 small Peppers
8oz  ground Sausage meat (I used Jimmy Dean)
2 tablespoons Canola Oil 
1 small Onion
1/2 teaspoon Garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala
2 tablespoons Yogurt 
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
Olive oil

Make the stuffing by chopping onion finely.

Heat canola oil in a saucepan.

Add chopped onion to hot oil and saute till golden brown.

Scatter chunks of sausage over onions. Break up chunks with a spoon. You should have very small pieces of sausage. Saute sausage till it changes color, a few minutes.

Add garlic paste, garam masala, yogurt, cilantro and salt to sausage. Stir vigorously to incorporate. Saute for a few minutes.

Add 1/2 cup water to sausage. Cover pan and cook for 10-15 minutes over a medium flame. Uncover pan and let all moisture dry up. Let meat cool for a short while before stuffing peppers.

Place a pepper on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife make a cut starting on the right side near the stem, going down about 3/4 of the pepper towards the narrow end. Make another cut starting on the left side. This cut should meet the right handed cut in a vee shape. With your knife lift the flap. The pepper is ready to be stuffed. Cut the peppers prior to stuffing for easier prep.

Stuff each pepper with about 2 tablespoons of meat. 

Heat oven to 375F.

Cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish with a little olive oil.

Lay stuffed peppers in the dish. 

Sprinkle a little kosher salt over peppers.

Bake uncovered for 18-25 minutes.

Take peppers out of the oven. 

Serve them with a salad or as part of the meal.

The peppers have roasted up soft and wrinkly. These little bites look so elegant and delicious. And as lunch progresses, the fact that they are, is depicted by the empty platter before me.