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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Guest blogger, Gabriela Popa:
Aromatherapy with... stuffed peppers!


Today's guest blogger is Gabriela Popa, author of Kafka's House and When The Moon Had Feet. I have read both of these books, and enjoyed them. If you haven't already, checkout my review of Kafka's House and interview with Gabriela. Gabriela has a lovely, optimistic writing voice. She even makes cooking sound romantic!

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Aromatherapy with... stuffed peppers!
Gabriela Popa
What do you do when you are tired, bored and sick of reading, watching TV or writing?  I'll tell you what I do: I cook. Last week, when I came home on Friday, I already had a plan for dinner. I was going to make one of my favorite dishes: stuffed peppers, Romanian-style. Here is how I prepared them, and here is how they looked, Before and After. 
Stuffed Peppers, Romanian-style - Before

Stuffed Peppers, Romanian-style - After
 
The pictures tell you how giddy they must have been for two hours under that aluminum foil down there in the oven. 
What I used: 
·       12 bell peppers (red, green yellow)
·       4 tablespoon oil (canola or olive)
·       1 cup chopped onion
·       2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes for sauce
·       1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
·       1 clove garlic, crushed
·       3 teaspoons dried leaf oregano
·       3 teaspoons dill (aim for fresh)
·       3 teaspoons parsley (aim for fresh)
·       2 teaspoons salt
·       2 teaspoons ground black pepper
·       3 eggs, lightly beaten
·       2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck
·       1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
Preparation:
With a sharp knife (this is where you imagine you are a world-famous surgeon) you cut the tops off peppers (save the tops aside). Then, remove the seeds from peppers and tops. Rinse peppers and tops under cold water, and put them aside: they are ready for stuffing.
In a large skillet or pot heat oil until hot (think safety!), then add chopped onion and the spices (salt, oregano, pepper, dill, parsley) and, by mixing gently under medium heat, bring the onion to a charming translucent yellow. 
In a large bowl, mix the ground meat with the onion & spices mix, then, gently mixing, add rice, eggs, tomato sauce, 1 cup water and crushed garlic. Make sure the mix has enough water - it should be rather soft.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place them in the baking dish. Put a top on each pepper. Pour the diced tomatoes and extra water as needed over the stuffed peppers. Make sure they are covered in water (rice needs water to cook). Bake at 375° for about 90 min.
Serve with sour cream - they are de-licious!   
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Gabriela Popa grew up in Romania, and now resides in St. Louis, MO with her husband. She maintains a blog called The Right to Publish where she interviews other authors, "all of them talented and really good looking".

You can read her complete profile on Amazon.com.

6 comments:

Andre Jute said...

Hey, Gabriela, my wife cooks that dish but I bet she doesn't know it is Romanian. It's a few years now since we had it, so, the next I'm asked for a meal suggestion, I'll triumphantly come up with, "Romanian Stuffed Peppers a la Gabriela." Thanks for the suggestion.

GABRIELA POPA said...

Hi Andrew,
That sounds like an excellent idea! Quite frankly, for a while I thought that lots of dishes I liked as a child were "pure" Romanian, but then...I grew up :)

Yes, please use the recipe, if any question, let me know!
Cheers,
Gabriela

Anonymous said...

Gabriela,

Stuffed Peppers Romanian-style do sound good, I will have to try this as it doesn’t sound too complicated! I have Kafka's House in my massive TBR file, some day I hope to have more reading time. Things are very chaotic at my house right now. Thanks for the recipe.

Linda Mc
Aka ?wazithinkin

Donna Fasano said...

This sounds SO YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe.

~Donna~

Cookie's Mom said...

Gabriela, these look so yummy, and I'm looking forward to trying them. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Christopher Bunn said...

Wow. That sounds delicious. We'll give it a go here.

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