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Stuffed Peppers, Balkan (2) - meat, pareve

Posted by : Karen Selwyn

There are times when I like to reproduce the sweet foods on my
Galitizianer grandmother's table, but mostly I have to come to prefer
less sweet food. I've discovered that Balkan Jewish cuisine includes
many familiar Ashkenazi dishes with a more piquant spin. 

The first recipe is a meat-stuffed recipe; the second recipe is a
vegetarian version.

Karen Selwyn

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Stuffed Red Peppers: Gambas Inchidos con Karne

12 sweet red peppers
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup rice (long-grain recommended)
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons water
1/2-1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of sugar (optional)
2 stalks celery, whole with leaves

Slice off the cap from the peppers and remove seeds.  Take care not to
pierce the skin of the peppers.

Combine the meat, raw rice, onion, tomato, parsley, salt and pepper and
2 tablespoons of water.  Fill each of the peppers approximately 3/4 full
with the meat-rice mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine the oil, tomato puree, the cup of water, lemon
juice, sugar and celery.  Bring the sauce to a boil.  Lower the heat to
medium-low and simmer the sauce uncovered for 10 additional minutes. 
Season to taste.

Pour the sauce into a baking dish large enough to hold the peppers
upright in a single layer. Stand the stuffed peppers in the sauce.  Tent
the peppers with foil.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 45 minutes.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers: Pipiritzas Ienas con Aroz

1-2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 celery stalk
1 cup rice (long-grain rice recommended)
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup water
6-8 red sweet peppers

Sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato paste, mixed with 1 cup water
1/2-1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
pinch of sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 celery stalks, whole with leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the peppers by cutting off the cap and removing the seeds,
taking care not to pierce the shell of the pepper.

Heat the first measure of oil in a saute pan and cook the onions over
moderate heat until limp and translucent. Add the grated carrots and the
chopped celery.  Continue sauteeing for a few minutes.

Mix in the rice and continue sauteeing until the rice becomes
transparent.  Remove from heat.  Add the chopped tomato, salt, pepper,
chopped dill and the first measure of water, mixing well.

In a saucepan, combine the tomato paste and the cup of water.  Add the
remaining oil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and
simmer 2-3 minutes.  Pour the sauce into a baking dish which is sized to
hold the peppers upright in one layer.  Lay the whole celery stalks in
the baking dish and add the peppers.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover, and add a generous
sprinkling of dill.  Continue cooking an additional 30 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Suzy David's version in THE SEPHARDIC KOSHER
KITCHEN.

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