Ginger in the filling gives the dish a nice heat that warms the back of your throat, the cumin contributes its smokiness, parsley its bright freshness, rich tomato soup slight acidity balances the sharpness of garlic and sweetness of onion, while the mashed potatoes with its creaminess offers a nice introduction to your taste buds of what is coming “to town”.
4 medium size green bell peppers
Ingredients for filling:
¾ cup long grain rice
1 cup coarsely ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp Vegeta
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Ingredients for tomato soup:
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups water
4 garlic cloves
2tbsp olive oil
Directions for preparing peppers:
Wash and dry bell peppers.
With a small knife carefully remove the stem and the seeds from inside the pepper.
Rinse the inside under running water and let the peppers drain over a colander. Preserve the stem caps as they will be used as the stoppers preventing the filling escaping from peppers.
Directions for filling:
Wash the rice and let it drain.
In a big enough pot, bring water to boil over high heat. When it starts boiling, add some salt and rice. Keep stirring until the water starts to boil again, turn the heat to medium, and cook the rice uncovered for 7 minutes. Rice will be cooked “al dente”. Drain into colander, rinse under cold running water, and set aside.
Put skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, and sweat for 3 minutes. Add meat, all the seasonings, stir, and let the meat brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add well drained rice, parsley, and stir to combine.
Stuffing the filling into the peppers time:
Fill each pepper to the top and close with pepper cap. Make sure you press the filling tightly down so that the peppers are generously filled.
If there is some filling left, just add it to the tomato soup 5 minutes before the dish is cooked. I had 5 tbsp of filling left.
Make sure that the pot you are using is big enough to tightly fit all four filled peppers and tall enough that the tomato soup won’t splatter around while you cook.
Put the pot over medium heat, add olive oil, and lightly brown the garlic cloves to infuse the oil with garlic essence. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, and salt. Stir to combine and let it come to a boil.
Carefully add the filled peppers.
When the tomato soup comes to boil again, cover the pot, and cook the dish covered for 15 minutes. Now, partially uncover the pot and cook for additional 10 minutes. Just a reminder: if you have some of the filling left, it would be the time to add it to the tomato soup, in the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.
Now it's time to enjoy a nice family dinner together. Pass me your plate, because you are invited too!