Life is Beautiful, Satisfying, Fun, sometimes Sad & indeed a Challenge. Sometimes it also reminds you to be thankful for the little things, to be alive, to be able to share, love & laugh with family & friends. I am Thankful to be here to share this post with all of you today. Last tuesday I had an accident while I was getting by daughter back for her preschool. I got hit by a car from my left. Thankfully we are all safe, not a scratch on my little one & nothing on me except few burns from the air bags. Our car is gone & we need to get a new one. But we are here, all unhurt. Now thats something I should appreciate right? esp. when on the other side of the town on the same day one lady got hit by cars twice in a row and passed away. For another second ahead, i would have been hit straight on the door… & i do not know whether I would still be sitting here. I was in a frozen state for a few minutes after it happened. My daughter was more active and was screaming telling me to “stop the car”!! and to open the windows becoz of the smoke. Hats off to her agility.
Now to the gastronomic Challenge of the Iyengar’s Kitchen… Only when you are told not to use certain things, you start realizing how important those things are to you & the food:-D. Well I did come up with something… hopefully I did it all right. I am still in a kind of daze & I keep thinking I need to absorb & appreicate every moment of my life & what I have.
Sending this to the Challenge of Iyengar’s Kitchen.
Now to the recipe….
- 2 Bell Peppers (Capsicum) – Any color you want: Red, Yellow, Orange or Green
- 5 Cloves of Garlic Peeled
- 1 Teaspoon Extra Vigin Olive Oil
- 1.5 Cup Cooked Long Grain Rice
- 1/2 Onion Sliced thinly
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Olives
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Carrots
- 2 Tablespoons of chopped mushrooms (I used the canned ones-drained)
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Celery
- 1/2 Teaspoon Basil
- Black Pepper Crushed
Basic & Simple Arrabiata Sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Lime Juice (may be substituted with Vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1 tablespoon Italian Spice mix
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cans peeled and diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preparing the sauce
Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, & basil and after a minute add all the other ingredients. Bring it to a boil.
Simmer uncovered about 20 minutes till the tomatoes are cooked. Set aside.
Preparing the Peppers:
Slice the peppers length wise in to halves like a boat and take out the seeds and the membranes. (Alternatively the peppers may be cut horizontally… save the caps)
Boil water & salt in a pot. Drop the peppers & cook for a few minutes till they are just less than crisp. Do not overcook, becoz these will go in to the oven.
Saute the peppers in a skillet with 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin olive oil with 2-3 peeled whole cloves garlic at medium heat; turn the garlic to prevent browning. The garlic should just take on a lightly toasted color and will become soft, at which point it can be mashed into the oil and removed.
Remove the peppers when they are slightly brown & when it starts to soften. Keep aside.
Preparing the stuffing:
Mince the rest of the garlic.
In the same pan above add the garlic & onion and saute them at low heat. After a couple of minutes add the carrots, mushrooms & celery, salt and basil and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the rice & the olives, toss everything together & switch off the heat. Add freshly crushed black pepper & toss & cover.
Putting it all together:
Stuff the Bell Peppers with the Rice mix. In a casserole spoon some sauce at the base. Place the stuffed peppers on the sauce & spoon some more sauce on the peppers. Bake in the oven for about 25 -30 minutes.
(Alternative to baking: The Peppers may be simmered in the pot of sauce. If you are doing this, do not cut peppers lenthwise. Cut into half, horizontally, follow the procedure after that… cover with the cap & place them in the sauce and simmer).
Note: Do try it with different colors of peppers. The yellow, orange & red ones make a very pretty looking dish & have a slightly sweet taste. I wanted the peppery taste to compliment the spicy arrabiata sauce & hence used the green Peppers.