Monday, August 18, 2008

Borrowing ideas

Banana pepper stuffed with veal, parsley, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper with a thin tomato sauce. Corn (off the bone to all you Cento frequenters), and toasted bread heels (for all those who are looking forward to The Greenhouse Tavern and have peeked at the posted menu).

Stuffed peppers. These took a few minutes to make, but I think it was worth it. First I roasted the peppers over an open gas flame to get the skin all charred and blistered (there are ways to do this sans gas). Then the charred peppers went into a bowl, which was covered with plastic wrap, and left to sit for a while. While the peppers were steaming from their own heat under the plastic, I chopped up some parsley, pine nuts (didn't even toast them first--what an amateur), and parmesan (chopped, not grated), and minced some garlic.

Once all that stuff was prepped I began removing the skin from the peppers. It's kind of relaxing, kind of tedious. After the skins were removed I cut the tops off the peppers, cut a slit along the sides, and scraped out some of the seeds and ribs. After the peppers were eviscerated I mixed all the non-pepper ingredients, along with salt and pepper, with the veal and began stuffing the peppers chile relleno style.

After the peppers were ready I got some tomato juice (leftover fluid after making a bunch of brushetta--it was basil infused) warmed up in a pan on the stove with some salt and set the oven to 425. The tomato juice had been in the fridge for a day, which was nice because I was able to skim off the water from the top and use just about pure juice for this. I placed the peppers in the juice filled pan (pictured below), and once it was simmering I placed the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes.

The banana peppers added some heat to this dish, and if one was heat adverse but still wanted something like this there are tons of options at the farmers markets. Thanks goes to Maybelle's Mom for getting stuffed vegetables on my brain. Hers were prettier.

The other stuff was simpler. The corn was super sweet, and it just took a quick saute in butter with some salt and pepper to make a really worthwhile vegetable side dish. I forgot how good corn can be. Even without the bone.

The bread was simple ends of baguettes (also part of yesterday's brushetta) that I doused in Spanish olive oil and placed in the 425 oven with the peppers (in a separate pan, of course). As noted above, I stole that idea, if it is possible to steal an idea from a restaurant that has not yet opened.

Sources: Corn and veal from Plum Creek at the Shaker Farmers Market. The bread was from the West Side Market--it was okay, but unremarkable. Olive oil from Mediterranean Imports at the WSM. Pine nuts from the West Side Food Co-op. Tomato juice, parsley, garlic, and peppers from St. Paul's patch, a small community garden on the near west side of Cleveland (I only grew the tomatoes and garlic for this one, the peppers and parsley were from other gardeners--we like to share). Raw milk butter from Stutzman Herdshare.

I'm not sure if this is 99.9% local (is that by weight?), but it was very tasty.


OhioMom said...

I have a gas stove, love the tutorial for roasting the peppers over the flame, thanks! Hmmmmm .. I have to think of a veggie version stuffing for these, perhaps a bread/veggie combo? Maybe cheese?

Looks delicious!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog frequently.
One question, though. Where is the west side food co-op? I recently moved to the west side and miss the food co-op in university circle.

The CFT said...

OHMom, check out Feeding Maybelle for great veggie stuffing ideas. Your ideas sound great too.

Anonymous, the West Side Food Co-op isn't a place, it's a group of people that buy goods together--some from the UC Co-op, some from a local grains guy, and some random organic dried fruit and nuts. Co-op is a bit of a misnomer, and I sometimes call it a buying group, which is more accurate. For details e-mail albethfam [at] sbcglobal [dot] net, mentioning co-op in the e-mail. It's a pretty good group. Otherwise, between Nature's Bin in Lakewood (or Westlake?) and Urban Herbs in the WSM it's possible to make do w/o the UC Co-op, but as a former eastsider I really do miss the place. Thanks for reading and enjoying.

maybelles parents said...

hey, these look delicious. and I love that last picture. (p.s. I am glad to see I have made an impact in the world to make every stuff peppers one reader at a time.)

The CFT said...

Thanks MP. It may not be vegan, but I take comfort knowing the baby cows were happy before they met their demise and were stuffed in peppers.