Stuffed Red Peppers with Shiitake Orzo

Going through food blogs, food sites and everything else that is jam packed into my google reader, I’m bound to see an idea for a dish and not remember where it came from. Or get an idea from somewhere and change it to fit with what I have lying around the kitchen.
This is exactly what happened tonight. I had a couple of red peppers in the fridge that needed to be cooked asap. I also had some green onions that were close to their way out. I saw a recipe for stuffed peppers recently on serious eats (where else?) and figured that was a perfect way to use them. One pepper got the tofu treatment, the other the meat treatment. For the orzo that went along with the peppers, “the vegetarian” had traveled to Seattle for work several weeks ago, bringing back some delicious (looking, and now, i found out, tasting) harvest grain orzo. It has been sitting on a shelf waiting for its turn to be cooked. Tonight was the night for that too. I decided to toss in some shiitake mushrooms with the orzo, and rather than just straight boil it, I wanted to cook it in a pan with some onions as well.
Like I did with my adaptation, feel free to use other veggies or meats inside the peppers, or use no meat at all. Here is tonight’s meal of stuffed red peppers and shiitake orzo. Hope you enjoy!
(serves 2)
adapted from Serious Eats.
Stuffed Peppers:

~ 1/4 lb. ground beef (if you are omitting the tofu portion, double the meat)
1/2 “slab” silken tofu
2 large peppers (red or green, they tend to be the largest)

2/3 cup bread crumbs
sriracha (optional)
1 small white potato (microwaved and mashed)
4 or 5 green onions (chopped, using the bottom half)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350. Carefully cut out the stem from the top and then remove the bottom/seeds, keeping a nice top for the stuffed peppers. Remove any seeds from inside the pepper and any of the leftover from the top. Place the peppers into a gratin dish, and if they don’t stand easily, use a ramekin or cup to keep them upright.
In a medium bowl, mix the meat (in another bowl mix the tofu), half of the bread crumbs, onions and potato. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper and sriracha, if using. You want to form a nice consistency in which all the bread crumbs are incorporated.
Stuff the peppers with the vegetarian and and meat fillings. Don’t be shy about pressing the filling into the pepper, but you don’t want to overstuff. Any leftovers can be placed into the ramekins you are using to hold up peppers.
Pour the water into the gratin dish and cook for approximately 1 hour.

Here is the recipe for the Orzo.
(serves 2)
~ 1/2 cup orzo (whole wheat is preferable)
~ 1 cup water (or stock)
~ 10-12 shiitake mushrooms (de-stemmed and cut into slices)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp dry red wine
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once it begins to smoke slightly, add garlic and onions. Cook approximately 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid is completely reduced.
Add orzo, ginger, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt, pepper and water or stock. Stir and then cover and cook until orzo is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes. You want all the liquid to be cooked out.
Serve immediately with stuffed pepper.

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
This entry was posted in beef, main course, pasta, red pepper. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Stuffed Red Peppers with Shiitake Orzo

  1. What an interesting combination of ingredients. Sounds wonderful.

  2. I love love love shitake! It's my favorite mushroom, hands down. I wouldn't mind going vegetarian as long as I had shitake mushrooms in all my meals :)

  3. Haha. I could never go vegetarian, but I do agree that Shiitake are probably the best mushrooms.

  4. DailyChef says:

    I love this recipe! Looks like my google reader just stumbled upon a goldmine too :)

  5. Thanks…Just taking a look at your site now as well…quite delicious as well.

  6. Scott K says:

    A fellow blogger recently gave me the “Honesty Award.” One of the requirements is that I similarly award it to fellow bloggers. I thought you deserved it.

  7. Pingback: Cooking mushroom shiitake vegetarian - Cooking easy - Cooking vegetarian

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