I don't know what I was expecting, but for some reason this disappointed me. I added some cayenne pepper for extra spice (hello, it's creole?!) but it was still just okay. I should have made some dirty rice to go along with it. I don't know. I wouldn't make this again.
Creole Stuffed Peppers
Veganomicon, page 61
These peppers are stuffed with a mildly spicy mixture of black-eyed peas and veggies.
4 large bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, cut in half, seeded (if you don't want too much heat), and sliced finely
1 cup finely diced carrots
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons paprika, or smoked paprika
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish with a little olive oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise through the stem end. For aesthetic purposes, try to leave the stem intact on one side; if you can't manage it, no love lost. Remove the seeds and membranes. Submerge the peppers in the boiling water and cover. Let them boil for 5 minutes, then drain them immediately and rinse with cold water to cool them down a bit.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, jalapenos, and carrots for about 10 minutes. You want the veggies to brown, especially the carrots. If it looks like they are steaming rather than browning, then raise the heat a bit. Add the garlic about 5 minutes into the cooking process.
4. Add the bay leaves, the other herbs and spices, and the salt; saute for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes and peas, stir and cover, and cook for 10 minutes. If it seems too liquidy then remove the cover and cook long enough to reduce some of the liquid. Mix in the parsley.
5. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. The mixture will be hot, so we find it's easier to just remove the herbs while filling the peppers; just be on the lookout for them.
6. Spoon a little less than 1/2 cup of the veggie mixture into each pepper half. Again, the filling will be hot, so be careful while you are handling it. Place the pepper halves in the casserole dish and bake for about 25 minutes.
Yield: 4 main dish or 8 side dish