Monday, October 9, 2017

Töltött paprika - stuffed peppers


One of the family favorites is the stuffed pepper, and given that the peppers are in season, it was served as lunch today in our house.
I can't find the "appropriate" peppers here, aka TV paprika (tölteni való, meaning to-fill-peppers), but it has never bothered me.
I figured that the bitter taste of the green peppers is heavenly in these stuffed peppers, and apart from their size, yeah, those are HUGE, nobody had any complaints.
When the kids were younger and pickier, I peeled the skin of the peppers after they were cooked and before I chopped them into a mush, but now they don't choke on the skin anymore :D..
There are aspects where life gets a bit easier with teenagers :D.

Ingredients (serves 10-12)
Filling
1.5 pounds (600gr) ground beef, preferably organic
1.5 pound (600gr) rice (we like it with LOT of rice. You can reduce the rice to about 1/2 of the quantity of the meat if you favor more meaty meals)
12 medium green bell peppers
2 medium eggs
1 large, or two smaller onions
vegetable oil (3-4 tsp)
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp black pepper1 tsp dried basil or celery leaves
1-1.5 tsp salt (salt to taste) (optional: you can add a tsp of Vegeta (dried veggie, salt, spice mix) but if you choose to add this, make sure you reduce the salt, as this is very salty)

Sauce
1 - 1.5 can tomato pure ( I like it sourer, so I usually add at least 1.5)
2-3 celery or fresh basil leaves

Rough (rántás):
to thicken the sauce of the bell peppers, you can make a rough. I don't as I tried to avoid unnecessary thickeners, but it can enrich the taste of the sauce.

Serving
sour cream (1 tsp for serving)
fresh bread if desired (as we prepare with lots of rice, only a few family members go for the bread)

Cut around the stem of the bell peppers, and remove the seeds completely. If you have time, do this few hours before and sprinkle some salt inside the peppers, shake to cover the sides with salt, and let them soften a bit. It helps to fit the peppers easier in the pot.
If you don't have time, just remove the seeds and go ahead to fill them.
Prepare a large pot that has wide enough circumference to fit all the paprika's in one layer, or high enough to fit two layers of them. I tend to use my 15-liter pot and have only one layer, but really doesn't make a difference.

Rince the rice well.
In a small pan heat the vegetable oil, and saute the onions, and when they are golden. Remove from the heat, and mix in the paprika powder.
In a larger bowl mix the meat, spices, rice and onions, and eggs until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Fill the peppers halfway ONLY!!, as the rice cooks, it will fill the peppers till the top.
Place them in the pot and add enough water to cover the peppers.
Cook on low/medium heat for 1 hour.
Add the tomato puree to the pot and refill with water to cover the peppers, plus about 1 inch, 2-3 cm.
Simmer for additional 30 minutes on low heat. At the end, add the rough, and simmer for 5 more minutes. 

Enjoy!

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