orzo stuffed peppers.

Normally I don’t allow such a lapse between posts, but my roasted vegetable panini really went the distance last week. I had no idea it could stretch that far. After five to six straight days of veggie lovin (if you will), I’ll never again doubt its limberness. It was almost whore-ish, really. Ha, who am I kidding? I enjoyed every minute of it.

Come Sunday or so, I sawed off the last of the ciabatta and had one final go of it. It was delicious, as expected, but I think I’ve had my fill…for now. It was undeniably beautiful this weekend, and in NYC that means street fair time. Woooooo. I came across one in the Gramercy/Kips Bay area that was just pimping Latin food. Yeah, I think pimping is a fair description. There were all these amazing looking arepas and these fried custard desserts (whose name is escaping me), but I resisted all the Red Light District-esque temptation and went to the gym. I am just that dedicated. It’s almost Summer, so I’ve really been stepping it up on the sweaty side. Guess who just joined a running club? This girl. I’m still waiting for my membership stuff, but that’s all on deck. Also, I went to an ab class last week! That’s dedication.

Since I’m getting all extreme with the sweaty stuff, I decided to step up the spiciness as well. I loves me some stuffed peppers, but I generally fill them with couscous or rice and call it a day. This time, I cooked some orzo  in vegetable broth and water for like 10 minutes.  Orzo is technically a pasta like masquerading as a rice or grainy thing, so it’s quite the departure as a stuffing. Well, actually, Giada did it once. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I chopped some leftover zucchini and portabella mushrooms (of veggie panini fame), along with some Roma tomatoes and pepper jack cheese. I mixed all these together for my filling, which looked like this:

the innards

the innards

Meanwhile, I gutted and parboiled my peppers for about 10 minutes in a pot, and I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees. Once my peppers were done, I stuffed them with the orzo mixture and tossed them in a pan. Then, I topped them with bread crumbs and a fair amount of cayenne pepper. I let them wade in like an inch of vegetable stock, and then covered them in aluminum foil and baked for about 20 minutes. Then, I removed the foil and let the peppers bake topless for like 7 minutes. See below for the before:

pre-baked peppers

pre-baked peppers

They were so shiny and virginal, right? That was before. After the oven, they came out slightly more…mature, I guess. They were learned, sophisticated, into poetry and far too knowledgeable about wine. Like, enough with the tannin talk. Ordinarily, I would have found this very pretentious, but my peppers somehow pulled it off. I ate the orange one first with lots of habanero lime salsa. I totally burned my mouth with all that cayenne pepper on top, but it was so worth it. See below for my feast:

orzo stuffed pepper

orzo stuffed pepper


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April 2009
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