Sunday, November 16, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Stuffed Peppers, Maltese Style


Maltese recipes include quite a few stuffed vegetable recipes.
If something has an indentation, we will fill it.
Maybe it’s a form of nesting.
Maybe it's a type of hoarding.

Maybe it’s a way of making some really good recipes.

Ma had a few Maltese ways of stuffing green peppers.
She had two favourite Bżar Aħdar Mimli recipes, one had pork and one had anchovies.
Over the years Ma picked up some recipes from her co-workers and friends.
Can’t keep a good recipe down.
But, of course, Ma added her own touches.

This recipe calls for red bell peppers, which are ripened green peppers.
Green peppers are less sweet than yellow or orange peppers.
Red bell peppers are the sweetest.
You can use what your family prefers.

If you're shopping at a grocery store, you might find red, yellow and green bell peppers being sold together and called traffic light peppers.
You could pick up a few packs for this recipe.
The kids might enjoy the variety of colour.
Or they might fight over the yellow peppers.
So it goes.

If the kids are in that stage of life, stick to the red peppers.
Yes, they'll outgrow it.

Hint:

It would be a good idea to have tomato sauce on hand, or to make it about 3 hours before you make the stuffed peppers.
Ma’s recipe for tomato sauce will make enough for this recipe.
This is her sauce recipe if you want to use fresh tomatoes.


                       Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan               

Wash
6 red bell peppers
Cut around the stems to remove them.
Cut peppers in half length-wise, and remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers. 
Place the pepper halves on the baking pan.

Place in a large pot
2 pounds lean ground beef or lean ground pork (or lean ground chicken or a mixture)
Fry, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
Add
4 Cups tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper
Simmer 20 minutes.
Add 
1 Cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with paper towel
4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Stir until everything is well combined.

Preheat oven to 450º  
Scoop about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into each pepper half.

Have on hand 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Sprinkle over each pepper half
About 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Bake about 30 minutes, until cheese is melted, and lightly golden brown.

Serve on a bed of rice or with pasta.
Have some extra sauce and cheese for everyone to add to the rice or pasta.
Roasted potatoes would also go well with the green peppers.

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