Turkish Stuffed Peppers
3 cup cooked white rice cooled
8 x green, red, or yellow bell peppers (or combination)
2 1/2 tbl olive oil
2 med onions chopped
4 x cloves garlic minced
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbl oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup cashews or walnuts chopped
1 cup dried currants or raisins
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup (plus 2 tbsp) chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 dsh cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cup tomato sauce
extra olive oil
extra lemon juice
fresh mint leaves for garnish
* 5/23/99 Retta likes this less than I did. The tomato sauce seems to jar with the other flavors a bit (OK by me though). Might try making it with whicken broth instad of tomato sauce or just cover the baking dish with foil. Also try it as a simple pilaf without the peppers.
* Place the cooled rice in a large bowl, stirring to separate the grains.
* Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the tops off the peppers and use a small knife to remove the ribs and seeds from inside (be careful not to pierce the skins). Very very carefully, cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pepper so they will stand up flat.
* In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and half the garlic, season with salt & pepper, and saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the nuts, the remaining garlic, currants or raisins, apricots, and 1/4 cup of the mint. Cook about 5 minutes or until the scent of the spices is released into the air.
* Add the onion-spice mixture to the rice and mix well. Add the remaining mint, the lemon juice, and the cayenne. Taste and adjust seasonings.
* Divide the mixture among the 8 peppers, pressing down on the stuffing to pack well. Place the stuffed peppers in a shallow roasting pan and top with half the tomato sauce. Add the remaining tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 45 minutes. Baste the peppers with the sauce a couple of times. If the sauce appears to be drying out, add another 1/2 cup of water.
* Serve hot or at room temperature. Drizzle with additional olive oil and lemon juice and garnish with fresh mint leaves.