Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stuffed Red Peppers with Red Rice and Buffalo, topped with Strawberries and Red Jalapeno - The Red Dish

The internet is stuffed with articles telling you what your favorite color means.

When we got our next Creative Cooking Crew Challenge, to create a monochromatic dish, it probably means something that my first response was to do something all black.  Though if I really think about it, I don't have a particular fondness for black beans, black rice or squid ink. So maybe the world is correct.  Maybe it does mean something.

According to one article, a preference for black says "I want to give the appearance of mystery," but also that my preference could possibly "indicate a suppression of desires and worldly aims."

I'm not sure I would say I was trying to cultivate an appearance of mystery, per se.  But I am known in these parts to be "moody," a word often associated with black.  However, I can, without a doubt, attest to not suppressing my desires or worldly aims.  I have good relationships with all the ice creams and milkshakes and cookies.

Seth's response was to make a red dish. The same article helpfully explains that "red is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive—or someone who would like to be!"  Which is one of the most absurd descriptions of Seth that one could possibly write.

Apparently red won. There isn't really a compromise position to be had in a monochromatic color scheme.  Unless - you look at our final result! Where, we somehow managed (despite using annato, paprika, and tomatoes in our buffalo mixture) to make a completely red dish if, and only if, you use a very loose definition of "brick red."



So apparently the dish compromised with itself.  While the descriptions of black and red don't match up with us (or at least we don't want to believe they do) (ugh, what if the descriptions are right and what we know to be true isn't actually true - we don't actually know ourselves!), perhaps the dish itself wanted to be all these things.  Being a stuffed pepper, there is indeed an appearance of mystery.  You never quite know what you will bite into.  And if I were to ascribe human characteristics to a plate a food, I would perhaps use "outgoing and "aggressive" to talk about the fruity, spicy. smoky, meaty flavors it holds.  So it might be safe to say this dish represents the qualities of both our favorite colors, even if not so much our personalities.

Ingredients
For the rice:
1 1/2 rice cups red rice
chicken stock for cooking liquid
pinch ground shrimp
pinch annato
pinch paprika
pinch saffron

For the red pepper tomato sauce:
2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
paprika
ground pasilla
6 ounces tomato paste
splash truffle oil
pinch paprika
pinch passila
crushed red pepper
1 red jalapeno, minced
lemon wedge

For the buffalo mixture:
1 pound buffalo
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon roasted cinnamon
1 teapsoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon annato
1/2 teaspoon ground pasilla
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 celery stalks, minced
kosher salt, to taste

For assembly and serving:
3-4 red bell peppers, halved and cleaned
3-4 sliced red jalapenos
1-2 cups minced strawberries
lime wedges

Instructions
To make the red rice:  We use a rice cooker to make our rice.  Measure out 1 1/2 cups with the rice measuring cup.  Add chicken stock for the cooking liquid.  Add a pinch each of ground dried shrimp, annato, paprika, and saffron.  Cook according to manufacturer's directions.

To roast the red peppers: Heat oven to 425. Place red peppers on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, and ground pasilla over pieces. Once one side of the veggie has a nice brown color, flip; then continue roasting for a total of about 35 minutes.

To make the roasted red pepper/tomato sauce:  Place the roasted red peppers, tomato paste, splash truffle oil, paprika, pasilla, and crushed red pepper in a mixing bowl.  Blend with immersion blender.  Stir in minced jalapeno and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Mix the rice into the sauce.  Adjust salt to taste.

To make the buffalo mixture:  In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil.  Brown the meat over high heat.  Lower the heat and add the red onion.  Once soft, add the garlic cloves.Stir in the cinnamon, smoked paprika, annato, pasilla, ancho chile powder, and paprika.  Once the meat has been coated, add the crushed tomatoes, raspberry vinegar, and liquid smoke.  Let the mixture come together for just a few minutes.  Stir in the celery stalks.  Adjust salt to taste.

To assemble:  We placed a layer of the rice mixture in each red pepper half, followed by a layer of the buffalo mixture.  Each half was topped with a few slices of red jalapeno.  Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, until softened and brown on the bottom.  Serve with a spoonful of minced strawberries and a lime wedge.

17 comments:

  1. What a great take on stuffed peppers and use of the color red - beautiful!

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  2. I love stuffed peppers! And I don't think I'd ever be creative enough to create a monochromatic dish. This is great. (Also, my favorite color is green. I think that usually means I'm a calm and caring spirit.)

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  3. I love stuffed bell peppers! Rice buffalo filling sounds divine.

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  4. ha, I hadn't gone so far as to make conclusions about what color i chose... probably better that way :) What a great dish- love flavorful stuffed peppers like this!

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  5. I love the red dish!! It looks great! My favorite color is purple..I'll have to look up what that means :)

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  6. I LOVE the colour and flavours :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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  7. this looks delish and great idea adding strawberries to the mix - curious and keen to try that out!

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  8. That is such a fun challenge! I feel like I would do green...but maybe that's a bit too cliche of me? This dish is gorgeous and I love all of the flavors that you incorporated!

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  9. What a great challenge! Looks tasty!

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  10. I think the idea of RED rice for red stuffed pepper is brilliant, (better than black I think) for eating.

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  11. Inventive idea. This flavor profile jumps off the plate.

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  12. Brash and exciting would work as well... or sexy and inviting. I toyed with black as well so it seems our minds follow similar paths. Red won out for me too when it drew me to cherries. Black food? Squid ink and black beans? Lovely red dish.

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  13. Great version of a stuffed pepper. Beautiful!

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  14. Black would be interesting but I love your red choice. It looks so delicious, love the strawberry touch.

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  15. It would be fun to serve this dish at a dinner party, not telling the guests that you were going to serve "red." It has such a striking impact, and delicious to boot! Great CCC contribution!
    LL

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  16. I completely forgot about red rice! A complex dish with many flavors and components and it looks good too.

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  17. It so cool that you used Buffalo AND red rice in this dish. Definitely thought outside the box and created a really lovely dish :)

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