summer stuffed peppers

For nearly the past two months, we’ve had an over abundance of zucchini and peppers from our CSA. (And by overabundance, I perhaps mean so many zucchini and so many peppers and so little time home in the summer that we may have had to throw some out. Egads! I know!). Within the past two weeks, tomatoes have been flooding our house as well, both from the CSA and also from our backyard. So when I saw Lukas’s Summer Stuffed Peppers, it felt more than tailor-made; it felt kismet. And like you even wondered: it was delicious!

All that said… I do still have a few notes:

  • Although Lukas does not list prep or cook time, if you like to chat and drink and have a few cigarette breaks in the backyard are a novice cook like me, this recipe will take longer than expected. I got home from the grocery store (my list: corn, tomato paste, beer) at 6:45PM, and the peppers weren’t finished until nearly 10:15PM.
  • I don’t know about ya’ll’s oven, but mine don’t take that long to preheat. I, thusly, transferred Lukas’s step 1. to become step 3. But even that was, far, far too soon.
  • Note that when Lukas says to “break each ear [of corn] in half”, he means using your hands, not a knife. Perhaps that’s obvious to you cooks though?
  • I used funky, but awesome, CSA peppers, which are longer and skinnier and less uniform than store-bought. I’m not sure if that makes a difference, but I would suggest skipping the steaming in step 4. 30 minutes in the oven will more than do the trick, and I found the steaming dulled both the flavor and the texture.
  • Lukas doesn’t note an oven rack position in the recipe, so I did my standard “one above the middle”. However, after the foil-less last 10 minutes, most of the bread crumbs weren’t toasted. I ended up having to do another 8 on the top rack to get the full effect. 
  • Also note that I omitted the cheese. When the bread crumbs finally started crusting, my heart sank a little in regret. Upon the first bite though, that regret disappeared. Unless it would have made them toast up better, the recipe doesn’t need the cheese for taste.

Between two people, three stuffed pepper halves would be a complete meal. Looking at the recipe beforehand though, with my meat-eater prejudices, I decided I needed to thaw a giant chicken breast from the freezer, bread as strips and fry into satisfaction. It wasn’t needed; but it did serve as the perfect accouterment to dip into A’s freshly made tomato jam. Like: OMG. Like: I know chicken strip sauces and this was BETTER than anything McDonald’s EVER tried to trick you into eating. Even their old-cum-new Sweet Chili Sauce (which is saying a lot). Tomato jam and fried chicken strips are simply out of this world.

But so too, despite my persnickety notes above, was this was recipe. With less cigarettes and less drinking and less chatting more practice, I bet I could finish cooking this meal much more quickly. I consider this recipe a challenge. You should consider it a keeper.