Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Indian Stuffed Bell Peppers

A few nights ago I was slicing a bell pepper to saute and thought it would be nice to use some for stuffed peppers. I hadn't given it a lot of thought but finally decided to adapt a recipe I'd had for Indian Mashed Potatoes (Mash Aloo) to a stuffed bell pepper recipe.

This starts out by soaking the peppers for 4-5 minutes in very hot water. This helps reduce some of the bitter flavor the peppers can acquire during baking and helps them bake faster. Then the peppers are stuffed with mashed potatoes done using Indian spices and topped with cheddar cheese. Pop it in the oven and shortly you have a wonderful side dish.

I used yellow peppers since that is what I had on hand, but green or red also work and I think they would make a nice contrast to the color of the cheese in this dish. Using the yellow peppers created a bit of a monochromatic effect for the meal!

Michael has proclaimed this among his new favorites in my repertoire so I have a feeling it will be making repeat appearances on the dinner table in the future.

2-4 bell peppers
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk, heated, plus more if needed
4-6 tbs. butter, cut into small pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. garam masala spice
pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise (top to bottom) and clean out inside. Place in large pot of very hot water and soak for 4-5 (but no more than 5) minutes. Remove from water and set aside to cool and dry completely.

Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Boil in large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes until they are very tender (about 15-20 minutes). Drain and mash the potatoes using the back of a fork or a potato masher.

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, add the hot milk and butter pieces to hot potatoes and beat with a whisk. Add 1 to 2 tbs. more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Add remaining ingredients, except cheese and mix well.

Scoop the potatoes into the cut bell peppers then top with shredded cheddar cheese. Place on a lightly greased sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little freshly ground pepper and serve.

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