Thursday, 4 November 2010

Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

I have a slightly bad habit of impulse purchasing things that are interesting, cheap or unusual. Even better if it's a combination of all of the three.
Since moving to my new flat, I have the (mis?)fortune of having a Waitrose as my local supermarket. Is it actually possible to go in there without spending over a tenner? I'm not so convinced it is, especially as I have a love for it, partly because they do amazing discounts at closing time. An £8 sushi box for £1.99? Yes please. Or a £1.29 loaf of organic bread for 10p?! Well, I don't mind if I do.

And so, that sort of explains why I may have got a little overexcited in Waitrose at the weekend. And why I may have bought a whole mackerel for 50p, 775g of outdoor bred pigs cheeks for 92p, and 9 pink veal and outdoor bred sausages for £1.69. Whoops. Ethical and cheap - I think I can justify that!

I have decided (again) that I'm going to try new recipes for these, in an attempt to be fun in my frugality, and therefore stumbled upon this stuffed pepper delight. Due to it's American measurements, and slightly enormous quantities, considerable altering was done until I ended up with this ...

Stuffed Peppers
Serves 2

For the stuffing:
6-7 large peppers
teaspoon oil
an onion, finely diced
250g sausagemeat (ideally squeezed from 'posh' sausages with a high meat content)
400g cooked rice
50g cheese - cheddar will do!
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the sauce:
1 can tinned tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely diced or crushed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
large pinch of sugar

The peppers:
Cut the tops from the peppers, de-seed, and de-rib.
Flatten the bottoms of the peppers if necessary, so that they will stand upright.
Lightly brush the outsides with a little oil.
Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan, and add the diced onion. Fry until starts to become translucent.
Add the sausage meat, and stir while cooking to break up into small grounds.
When the sausage meat has started to brown, and loses pinkness, reduce from the heat, allow to cool, and drain of fat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, cheese, seasoning and sausage mix. Stir thoroughly.
Stuff into the peppers, allowing a small amount of room for expansion (especially if your rice is freshly cooked or still slightly al dente). Leave the tops slightly mounded.
Place into a lightly oiled baking tray and surround with the sauce.
The sauce:
Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add in the diced onion and garlic, and heat until softened and translucent.
In a suitable container, purée the tinned tomatoes in their juices, until fairly smooth.
Add the tomatoes in to the onion and garlic, and simmer gently until reduced to a medium-thick sauce. Add small pinches of sugar to reduce the tartness as required.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 45 minutes.