Peppers, Stuffed Peppers

Peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchinis; all things that can be stuffed with greatness and made to perfection on the panini.  Like many of my recipes, this one is extremely versatile.  Stuffed peppers I thought originated in Spain, ‘pimientos rellenos’, however I’ve learned that many countries and cultures have their own variation of the stuffed pepper.

India- Bharwan Mirch

Arabic- Dolma (kousa, sometimes called mahshi is stuffed squash– and it’s amazing!!)

Mexico- Chille Relleno

Greece- Yemista

Egypt- Mashi Phil-Phil

Romania- Ardei Umpluti

USA- Stuffed Pepper

 

My recipe for the panini version of a stuffed pepper:

Ingredients:

Yellow, Green, Or Red Bell Pepper

Breadcrumbs

Olive Oil

Egg (optional*)

Chopped Onion

Chopped Zucchini

Salt

Pork Sausage (optional*)

Chopped Mushrooms

 

Assembling:

1. Wash the pepper and cut off the stem end of the pepper (the ‘hat’) to save for later

2. Clean and remove the seeds

3. Rub olive oil and salt on the outside of the pepper

4. In a bowl combine the desired ingredients

5. Fill the pepper and grill on the panini

6. Have something at the bottom of the panini to catch the juices that will ooze out to pour over the pepper when it’s finished

7. Grill on the panini for 8 minutes

8. When finished, take off and pour the sauce over it

9. For presentation purposes, but the hat back on top

 

*Breadcrumbs and eggs are added to thicken the stuffing

*If you are using meat, cook the meat on the panini before mixing with the other ingredients

 

Raid your fridge and see what you can incorporate into your stuffing with these suggestions:

-Mexican: combine cheese, tomatoes, chorizo, bread crumbs and top it with salsa and sour cream; serve on a bed of shredded lettuce

-Meat Lovers: combine pork sausage, chorizo, mushrooms, mix in your favorite cheese

-Cheesy: combine ricotta, marscapone, feta cheese and breadcrumbs

-Veggie: combine chopped/shredded zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, spanish onions, and garbanzo beans

-Asian: Water chestnuts, bok choy, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, tofu, and chopped peanuts (or meat of your choice)

 

Don’t you just love versatility 🙂

 

Enjoy,

Sani

 

 

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Tempeh Time

Tempeh.  Many run from this word, as it is unknown to most.  However, I’ve slowly started to notice it’s becoming more and more ‘trendy’.  I started to explore this tempeh, what makes it both intimidating and attractive?  Fermented whole soybeans with mold, similar to tofu.  Tempeh is a meat substitute, it’s firm, dry and chewy and the best part about it is that you can get it smoked- tastes like bacon!!  Which is why when I first tried tempeh, it was smoked and I found it delicious.  At Candle Cafe, a vegan restaurant in New York, their menu featured many variations of tempeh.  I got a smoked temeph sandwich with roasted red pepper, roasted zucchini, arugula, with a tomato spread on whole grain bread.

Sani Panini Tempeh

Ways we can use temeph in panini form: replace your grilled meat with grilled temeph, try it smoked, grill it with some veggies on the panini with a soy sauce, and naturally add it into your next panini :).

*Did you notice the great panini grill marks on the tempeh?

Enjoy,

Sani

New Tricks for an Old Dog

Oh, the joys of going out to eat!  I enjoy eating out because it’s a chance to learn something new. Mom and pop joints are my favorite places to learn new techniques.  At Soup Spoon Café (located near the capital of Michigan), I got a bonus lesson on, none other than… the panini!!  This does not happen often- trust me!  In a prior post, I mentioned a panini place that had panini’s on french bread. However, it didn’t have the warm, grilled bread component that makes up a great panini.  Soup Spoon transformed their french bread to a “panini appropriate” sandwich.  How?? They flipped the bread inside out, genius.

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In this picture you can see how the inside of the french bread is now the outer layer, and what is usually considered the outer part of the bread- is now on the inside.

This sandwich consisted of slow roasted pork loin, caramelized onions, pickles and melted Gruyére cheese with their bistro sauce.

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Let me know if you try out this new trick!

 

Enjoy,

Sani