Thursday, March 21, 2013

Risotto-stuffed peppers

When I was growing up, we had a microwave cookbook with beautiful pictures of (to me) exotic foods like twice-baked potatoes and stuffed peppers. Over the years we made almost every vegetarian recipe in the book.

The cookbook is probably long gone, but the idea of stuffed peppers still makes me giddy. So when I found myself with a glut of peppers (even after roasting!) and some Daiya shredded cheese at the same time I couldn't help myself.

The risotto was made as most risotto is, but with speed-ups along the way because I do have a preschooler underfoot. Mounded into pepper halves (note: cut the peppers in half at the stem along their length and they will stay stable), sprinkled with cheese, and baked, they are heaven. Serve as-is (as we had them) or with polenta.

The recipes are adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, where she gives many more details and lots of general tips on making risottos of various flavors.

Risotto

oil and/or butter/earth balance (a mix helps you save on butter while still imparting flavor)
1 onion, minced
1 cup rice (arborio or other white, I used japanese!)
6-7 cups vegetable stock
vegetables (I used fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, and chopped bell peppers)
herbs (I used oregano)
cheese (vegan or otherwise, optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the stock on one burner (I made a simple stock with the corn cobs and pepper bits). Melt the butter/oil in a skillet, then add onions. Cook until softened, a few minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add 2 cups stock, stir, and simmer, stirring occasionally until absorbed. Continue in 1/2 to 1 cup increments, adding and absorbing until all but 1/2 cup is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add the last 1/2 cup along with veggies, herbs, salt, pepper, and cheese if using. Cook until everything is absorbed and the risotto is pourable but still thick. Serve. For use in peppers, turn off heat and allow to dry out just a bit.

Stuffed Peppers

risotto
sweet peppers (other vegetables may also be stuffed!)
cheese (daiya mozzarella or other vegan or other cheese), shredded

Cut peppers in half lengthwise (cut through stem) and remove seeds. Mound the risotto into the pepper half without packing it in, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375oF for 25 minutes. Eat warm.

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