Thanks to the garden, cooking dinner can be a bit of a mystery box challenge. Certain ingredients (peppers, tomatoes, squash, basil ) are in abundance so it is fun to see what you can make in order to use them up. Sometimes I wonder if I could ever make it a whole summer without stepping into a grocery store, or maybe even just a month. I am on day 24 of my Whole30 paleo challenge and have found myself entertaining the idea of creating my own challenge of shopping at only farmers markets for 30 days and not stepping foot in a grocery store. It is only 30 days right? I think nearly anything can be done for just 30 days. Just a thought.
Now onto to dinner. I had just bought some grass fed ground beef so what could be better than stuffed peppers?
I know, your first thought; Is that a RAW egg???!! No, calm down. Its not raw, ( although I am not afraid of raw eggs ) It is just an egg yolk that was baked along with the peppers JUST until it was set but still runny when you cut into it. Yum. Your probably also wondering why I chose to top it with an egg yolk. Well two things came to mind when I decided to top it with a yolk. #1 Have you ever had a hamburger topped with a fried egg? #2 there is no dairy allowed during the Whole30 program so I couldn’t top it with cheese…then I remembered this: ( fast forward to about 33 seconds if you are short for time )
“it tastes like cheese sauce” well…close enough. So I topped it with an egg yolk to get that semi-cheesy tasting, fatty mouth feel. It worked.
Now for the recipe.
Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, and basil sauce:
About 5 red peppers
2 cloves Garlic
a good bunch of basil
1 Tbs. Apple Cider vinegar
First, Roast the red peppers and tomatoes. I did this on the grill but you can use your oven ( under the broiler ) or on your stove if you have a gas stove.
You want to roast your peppers until the skin is nearly burnt. This makes it easier to remove. After your peppers are nice and browned/blackened place them in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap and let them sit for 5 minutes. You don’t have to blacken the tomatoes. Just roast them until they have a nice color to them. They will be a little extra sweet.
After 5 minutes remove the skins/seeds/stems from the peppers and throw them in the food processor with the garlic and tomatoes and pulse until smooth.
Add the basil, pulse again, and Season with salt and pepper and add about a Tbs. of apple cider vinegar.
Pulse the sauce again and add the olive oil while the processor is running, add enough to get a sauce like consistency. Enough to be able to spoon onto a plate or onto your peppers with ease.
Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking. It should be a bit sweet and tangy.
4 green bell peppers
10oz. to 1lb. of ground beef.
1 Squash, diced ( I used the squash from the garden pictured above )
6 oz. Tomato paste or about 12 oz. can of tomato sauce that does not contain added sugar.
Note***I suggest a can of tomato sauce but I had to use about tomato paste because I saw that my tomato sauce had added sugar and forcing me to go to plan B. You can also use plenty of fresh tomatoes if you have them on hand. Just dice them up and throw them in the pan when you add the squash and let them cook down a bit so that the flavors are concentrated.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Chili powder – about a Tablespoon Plus or minus…taste your food to your liking!
Cumin about a tablespoon
8 egg yolks
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut your peppers in half, season with salt and pepper, and par-bake the peppers until they are soft, but firm enough to hold their shape.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, add your ground beef and onions.
Cook until the ground beef starts releasing its juices. Add the tomato paste and stir.
Add the squash, garlic, and spices,
Let simmer and then remove from heat.
Stuff your peppers with the ground beef mixture and create a little nest for your yolk. ( otherwise it will just fall off ).
After placing the yolks on the tops of your peppers, place it in the oven until the yolks are JUST set. This only takes a couple of minutes max. Keep an eye on those peppers!
After your yolks are set to your liking, plate up your peppers and top it with your roasted red pepper sauce.
So, I know I said the next post would be on how to render lard…but I got a bit distracted. I ended up buying some beautiful pork belly. Do you know what this means??? Homemade bacon. The curing process takes about a week so sit tight, but in the meantime I will be making some Gravlax. (Google that ).