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Thai Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is a recipe inspired by Grace Parisi and company at Food & Wine magazine. I have changed it up a bit, yet not too much. It was so delicious. A spicy tongue reminds you that you’re alive.

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers (I was able to stuff 5, based on their size)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, minced (reminder that a shallot is the usual two “cloves” within the covering…so you’re looking at four “cloves) of shallots.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (make sure it is mixed well before using)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red (0r green) curry paste
  • 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped with seeds
  • 3/4 pound oyster mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil (Thai basil if you can get it), plus more for garnish
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 

Procedure

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Slice the tops off the peppers and cut the tops into 1/4-inch dice; discard the cores and stems. Boil the hollowed out peppers until just tender, 4 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer the peppers to paper towels to drain, cut side down. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
  2. In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until toasted, 4 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, ginger, curry paste and the 1 1/2 cups of reserved pepper water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, 25 minutes, then allow to rest (covered) for another five minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced bell pepper tops and the jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are browned, 4 minutes longer. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable mixture to the rice and stir in the basil and lemon juice. Season with salt. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and set them in a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover with foil and bake (middle rack) for about 45 minutes, until the rice filling is heated through. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.

 

 

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