Saturday, April 20, 2013

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

I had everything to make this recipe except the orzo, but I did have arborio rice...which has a creamier texture than other rices and I thought would make a reasonable substitute. I was not impressed with this recipe. I don't think it was the arborio-for-orzo substitution (though it may have contributed). The recipe (ingredients) looked/sounded good, but overall, the end result was very underseasoned. Salt and pepper after the fact helped (I even used my basil salt for extra herb flavor), but it was still...uninspiring. I couldn't taste the mint at all, so that -- which I was curious to sample in a stuffed pepper dish -- seemed like a waste. With the Italian seasoned tomatoes, I finally splashed on a little balsamic and it was tolerable.  But who wants to eat food that's just 'tolerable'?! Not me. I'm still posting the recipe, just as a way of saving it. Maybe I'll play around with it later...

1 14-oz can Italian diced tomatoes
1 zucchini, grated
¼ C chopped fresh mint leaves
½ C grated Pecorino Romano
3 Tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 C chicken broth
1 C orzo
4 bell peppers

Preheat oven to 400°.  Combine tomatoes, zucchini, mint, half of the cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring chicken broth to a boil; add orzo. Cook for about 4 minutes (orzo will only be partially cooked). Use a strainer to pour broth into a baking dish, straining the orzo and adding it to vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.

Slice tops off peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. If needed, cut a thin slice off base of peppers so they'll stand on their own. Place peppers in baking dish with broth; spoon orzo and vegetable mixture into peppers. cover with foil, bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle tops with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheese id golden - about 15 minutes.

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