Friday, March 30, 2012

risotto and chickpea stuffed peppers

First, mix three packets of trader joe's savory veggie broth concentrate with four cups of water, put it in a saucepan and start it heating on low. 

Next, Pour some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, probably about 1/4 cup. I used a pan that's halfway between a skillet and a saucepan. It's shallow and wide, but it has straight sides like a saucepan.You could probably just use a big pot, but make sure it isn't too thin, so the risotto won't burn. 

Heat the oil on medium-high heat, and saute about 2 tbsp minced garlic, along with parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme, and just a pinch of crushed red pepper. I didn't measure the herbs, so just use your best judgement. These were all dried, except for the garlic, which we have a jar of minced garlic in the fridge. Saute this for about 1-2 minutes, until the garlic starts to brown a bit, and then add 1 cup arborio rice.

Stir the rice around, and let each grain get coated in the oil. Keep sauteing it until the rice starts to smell a bit nutty. This can be a bit hard, with all the herbs, but trust me, you will notice a difference in smell. Once it smells nutty, add about 2/3 cup of a semisweet white wine. Reduce heat to medium, and let this simmer until it no longer smells strongly of alcohol.

Next, start adding broth, a ladle-full at a time. Add 1 ladle of broth, stir and simmer, until there is very little liquid left. Then add another ladle. Keep doing this, and stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente. It will take about 40 minutes. If you run out of broth, then add hot water. (I didn't run out of broth, but the risotto recipe I was using as a guideline had that suggestion.) Add salt and pepper to taste. It won't need much, because of the broth, but I did add a sprinkle of salt. Once it is al dente, remove the risotto from heat, and let it cool.

Now, Open a can of chickpeas, and drain and rinse them. 

Prepare the peppers by cutting the tops off, and removing the seeds and as much of the white stuff as you can without breaking the peppers. This recipe should fill 4 red bell peppers.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix about 1/2 the can of chickpeas in with the risotto and stuff that into the peppers. Top each pepper with bread crumbs. Bake for about 40 minutes in the oven, then remove and eat.

If you don't want to do this all at once, you could double the risotto recipe, and have that for dinner one night, and then use the leftovers to stuff peppers the next night.