Sunday, March 8, 2009

Roasted Peppers stuffed with Shallots, Zuchinni and Cheese

These will never win the sexiest to look at award, but they are so, so good and one of my favorite light side dishes when I've had a few too many indulgences during the week (Norwood - I'm talking about your mini burgers - damn you!)

Of course I prefer goat cheese in mine, but you can substitute cream cheese if you want a simpler flavor base. I also like to cut the peppers lengthwise as opposed to cutting the tops off - I think they look prettier and cook more evenly.

Unfortunately, this recipe isn't your friend if you're short on time - the veggies need a good 40 minutes in the oven to become caramely and melting and to ensure that the bell peppers have cooked through. The perfect excuse to poor a glass of wine and catch up on the day's news, or in my case, what's DVR'd on Food Network...

Roasted Peppers stuffed with Shallots, Zuchinni and Cheese

4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, or an assortment, washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
salt and pepper
1 zuchinni, finely minced
3 tablespoons goat cheese or cream cheese
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, well drained
1 teaspoon minced flat leaf parsley or basil
1/3 cup shredded parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

1/2 cup chicken stock along with 2 tablespoon white wine or vermouth

Cut the peppers in half, length wise and gently remove the seeds and ribs. Prepare an 8 by 8 baking dish by spraying with nonstick spray and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Meanwhile, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let heat through one minute, then add the shallots and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper, and saute for 4-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the zuchinni, and saute another 5-7 minutes, until they've begun to soften. Take off the heat and stir in the diced tomatoes. Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes before stirring in the goat or cream cheese, fresh herbs, and 1/3 cup of the shredded parmesan. Add a tiny bit more of salt and pepper as well.

When well mixed, stuff the mixture into your waiting peppers, to the top but not overflowing (if you have extra - I like to use it under the skin of bone in chicken breasts roasted in the oven - delicious.)

Place the peppers in your prepared dish, then top with the extra parmesan.

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then add the chicken stock/white wine mixture to the bottom and roast another 25 minutes, until they are thoroughly cooked and the walls of the peppers have begun to wilt.

Let cool slightly before serving.

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