Saturday, February 04, 2006

Yellow Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn, and Feta Cheese

Everyday of this past week I have been putting off making this dish. The idea sounded simple but whenever I would read the recipe I just felt too tired to make it. I think it's because the recipe is poorly written.

I got this Yellow Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn, and Feta Cheese recipe from Eating Well's August/September 2005 issue. Unfortunately they don't have the recipe on their site so I'm just going to have to give you my version of the recipe so that I'm not plagerizing.

First of all, the recipe called for 4 whole yellow or orange peppers and that would be entirely too much food for the two of us, so I just used 2 orange peppers. We were only able to eat one half pepper each last night so we have leftovers.

Second, I didn't use corn because I only cook with fresh corn and it's not in season right now.

Some substitutions I made include replacing the jalapeno with one thai chile (these are hot so I thought one was enough but I could have used two). I used fresh baby spinach instead of regular or frozen spinach and I omitted the white winee in the recipe which I believe was a waste of wine.

So...with all of that said, here is my version of the recipe:

Orange Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa and Feta Cheese

2 orange peppers, sliced in half vertically (seed pepper but do not remove stem)
1 cup of cooked quinoa
2 scallions, thinly sliced (including 2 inches of the green part)
1-2 thai chiles
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 ounces feta cheese, diced (I used TJ's mediterranean feta which is crumbled)
1/2-1 red onion, thinly sliced
(omitted 1/4 c. white wine, you'll see why)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Heat 1 T. oil in wok or skillet. Cook scallions and chile for 1 minute, or until soft. Add garlic, cumin, spinach, and 1-2 T. water. Cook, stirring occassionally, until spinach is wilted (about 1 minute). Transfer to large bowl.

2. Add quinoa, cilantro, and feta to bowl and toss to combine. Season with fresh ground pepper.

3. Wipe out skillet and reheat with 1 T. oil. Cook onions, stirring frequently, until they color around edges (3-5 minutes). Season with pinch of salt and pepper.

Note: You can stir in 1/4 cup of wine at this point but it's a waste of wine since you're only putting the onions in the bottom of the baking pan to flavor the peppers and I really don't think the small amount of white wine will make a difference. Since it is such a small amount of wine the flavor will cook off and only affect the onions. It's not enough flavor to affect the peppers. If you are planning on eating the onions with the peppers then I would use the white wine.

4. Transfer onions to a baking pan (large enough to hold the 4 halves of peppers).

5. Cook pepper halves in a large pot of boiling water for 4 minutes (until slightly tender). Drain and fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture. Place pepper halves in baking dish with onions. Drizzle 1/2-1 T. oil over peppers.

6. Bake peppers until heated through, about 15 minutes (or less if you prefer). Switch heat to broil and cook until tops are browned (about 4 minutes).

As far as stuffed peppers go, these are very good. I don't think I'm a huge fan of stuffed peppers. I would actually adapt this recipe even more and make it more like a salad, stuffing a raw pepper half with quinoa salad.

These would make a great addition to any dinner party.


Jennifer said...

Those are pretty! I have leftover quinoa from last month's Paper Chef and no clue what to do with it.

Thanks for the idea!

Rorie said...

Beautiful! I think this looks delicious - I will definitely be making these peppers.

Beth said...

I love quinoa! Thanks for giving me another way to prepare it!

Gourmetish said...

Beth, I thought of you when I made this since I know how much you love quinoa. I'll be making another quinoa dish soon that hopefully you'll enjoy. Stay tuned!