A small confession here: this write-up, from start to finish took me a week. It’s pretty sad and shameful that I couldn’t muster enough time to get this out earlier, but this week has been out of control with work, events and last-minute outings. While it’s been fun eating out and traipsing around town, I’ve neglected to post. I’ve cooked absolutely nothing this week, sadly enough as last night took KS and me to Pio Pio on the UES (incredible chicken!), Wednesday night to the Soho House for a special viewing of Michael Clayton (I heart Tilda Swinton!), Tuesday night to a local Sushi joint and Monday was our leftovers and snacks night! So there you have it. No time spent in the kitchen and we’re at Friday. Am I cooking tonight? Highly unlikely! But anyway, the pictures from the dish above were inspired by watching Top Chef that afternoon (I’m so so hooked now!) and so after I made the peppers, I fancied myself a skilled plater – and as you see above, I failed miserably, as I’m certainly lacking a certain je me sais quoi when it should come to plating food well. That and it looks too deliberately arranged, which now that I think about it, drives me crazy. But I regress – onward with the recipe…
I don’t know about you, but green markets make me go gaga. It’s like I have to buy everything and KS has to remind me that I can’t have everything at the market, I have to select a few ingredients and commit to them. And I have to agree with him – working long hours leaves little time for elaborate meals with lots of perishables.
And so I have to go with a game plan and if I don’t, I wade around aimlessly and KS has to set me straight. Last Saturday was no exception, except, we were in a rush to get to the Cloisters and I discovered on top of rushing and disarray that my trusty Nikon D70s was not cooperating! I fantasized all week about doing some fall photography on the weekend, and, alas, we had to make do with a point-n-shoot, which really delivers disappointing results compared to the SLR version. But the camera is working again (there’s some weird fluke about having to reinsert the image card again) so that is a good thing!
While wandering about the market, I spied these beautiful peppers in a big, colorful pile. And it wasn’t so much their look as it was the aroma that wafted through the air, flowery and woodsy at the same time – the smell of fresh, ripe peppers – I had to grab a few. We had already purchased a few items here and there – a few apples, some chorizo from a grass-fed animal farm, a bunch of dill, which inevitably we always wind up throwing out a portion of because we can never eat it quickly enough. [And now – a suggestion and plea to herb vendors - for the love of the green guys you’re growing, please make these bunches smaller! I’d rather pick up several different bunches through the week, but have them be fresh, then throw out a portion of the wilted bunch, because the herbs, as you probably know, do not, at all, keep well!]
The next day, after our culture-infused trip, a sighting of scary squirrel, and some damn good falafel from West Village, I got to work on the peppers. There was little doubt what I was going to do with them, and while you can make lots of different dishes with peppers, I longed for the ones of the stuffed variety. In Russia, we used to mix ground chicken and seasoned rice together for the stuffing and finish off the dish with a dollop or sour cream (what Russian dish can do without it?) But I wanted something slightly different than the traditional recipe of my childhood – and used bulgur wheat, ground chicken, carrots, onions, tomatoes and pretty long eggplant. I have to say that with this recipe, I may not miss my childhood stuffed pepper dish for awhile.
Continue reading peppers stuffed with chicken and eggplant.