Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Baked Peppers Au Gratin and Anna Sultana's Stuffed Green Peppers, Maltese Style (Bzar Ahdar Mimli)

Last week I mentioned that my Ma had a favorite recipe for fresh green peppers, globe artichokes, eggplants and late in the season, home grown, baseball bat sized zucchini.  She would usually serve them mimli or stuffed.

I browsed through Entertaining with The Sopranos to see if Carmela also had a stuffed green pepper recipe.  She does.  Well, sort of.  She has a recipe called Baked Peppers Au Gratin.  It's no big whoop.  

She cuts 8 large bell peppers in half and removes the seeds, cores and membranes.  Then she cuts them into 1/2 inch wide strips.  She places the strips in an oiled roasting pan that's large enough to hold the slices in a single layer.  
Then she adds 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs, 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper and tosses.  She bakes the peppers in a preheated 400ºF oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until the peppers are browned.

Basically Shake & Bake Peppers.  Where's the Au Gratin cheese?

I received a few e mails asking for Ma's mimli recipe.  Now we're talking.

Anna Sultana's Stuffed Green Peppers - BŻAR AĦDAR MIMLI

4 green peppers - remove the stalk, top and seeds

2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
in olive oil until golden and add:
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon capers
8 - 10 olives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
100 g anchovies, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Fill each pepper with as much of the mixture as it will hold.
Fry the peppers in oil until done on all sides.
Lower the flame to simmer and turn occasionally till the peppers are browned.

As with Carmela's recipe, the peppers can be served hot or cold.

Carmela's Baked Peppers Au Gratin?  It's easy.  I'd make it for a little variety.  But I wouldn't have the nerve to call it Au Gratin unless I sprinkled 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Ma's Bzar Ahdar Mimli?  You have to ask?

Another recipe down.  Sixty-one more to go. 

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