Monday, June 3, 2013

Bell Pepperness

Bell peppers belong to the nightshade family of plants, along with chili pepper, cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes. Their scientific name is Capsicum annuum. This scientific name, however, is used to refer not only to bell peppers, but also to wax peppers, cayenne peppers, chili peppers, and jalapeno peppers.

While we are most accustomed to seeing green bell peppers in the supermarket, these delicious vegetables actually come in a wide variety of colors, including yellow, orange, red, purple, brown and black. The green bell peppers you purchase in the food market may actually be immature, non-ripe versions of these other color varieties. Not all bell peppers start off green, however, nor do green bell peppers always mature into other basic colors.

Polenta-Stuffed Peppers
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4

·        4 tablespoons butter
·        1 onion, finely chopped
·        1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped
fresh rosemary (or 3/4 teaspoon dried
 rosemary, crumbled)
·        Coarse salt and ground pepper
·        1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
·        1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
·        1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
·        4 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise through stem, ribs and seeds removed

1.      1. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring often, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil.
2.      2. Whisking constantly, gradually add cornmeal, whisking until incorporated before adding more. Reduce to a simmer; cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in corn, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and half the cheese until melted.
3.      3. Place peppers in a large baking dish; fill with polenta mixture. Cool to room temperature. Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
4.      4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup water in bottom of baking dish. Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
5.      5. Return to oven; bake, uncovered, until cheese is golden and peppers are very tender, about 30 minutes more. Serve immediately.

V Viola! Enjoy!

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