Sunday, August 16, 2009

My First Harvest

My little rooftop garden experiment is finally starting to pay off! The time, effort and love I have put into these few little pots of dirt are actually turning into something, right now in the form of these lovely, rosey little shallots. We had a minor disaster with the tomato plant, but hopes are high now for the bell pepper plant. Hopefully, with the mild San Francisco summer approaching, I should have some delicious bells in a couple of months.

The sorrel is growing like crazy, and I will soon be moving it to an even bigger pot. Garlic has started to sprout, and I plan on getting a couple more shallots in the ground soon. Thanks to you all who gave me your encouragement, it's great to know I've got people rooting for me. And believe me, if I can grow something on the windy, fog-soaked coast of San Francisco, you can have a garden just about anywhere.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Stuffed Peppers with Crazy Rooster Sauce

This should be a relatively simple post to write, yet I have been sitting on it for a week now, with dozens of other writerly things running through my head that have nothing to do with stuffed peppers. So, in our last CSA box from Eatwell Farm, we got a few beautiful, dark green Poblano peppers and some small sweet onions. We decided to throw together some roasted, stuffed peppers for dinner, which was complicated by the fact that our stove is electric. But not too complicated.

We roasted the peppers under the broiler for a few minutes, making sure to turn them often as the skin darkened and began to bubble up. Once each side was thoroughly roasted, I tossed them into a large paper grocery bag to cool and allow the skins to seperate. The skins came off easily after that, and the peppers were ready for stuffing. The stuffing recipe we put together is pretty basic, and ended up being enough for about a dozen or more peppers. If you want to keep it vegetarian, sub the ground turkey with potatoes or tofu, or mushrooms. Here's what you do:

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 can drained black beans
2 - 3 small yellow onions, chopped
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/3 bag of frozen corn, or more if you really like corn
1 Tbs. of fresh cilantro, chopped small
1 - 2 tsp chili powder
1 - 2 tsp cumin
1 - 2 tsp sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Crumbly Cotija cheese
Spicy Sriracha "crazy rooster" hot sauce

In a medium skillet, cook the ground turkey until it is browned and cooked through. While the turkey is cooking, add your spices to taste, (more of this, less of the other). Drain off any excess fat, and spoon the turkey into a large bowl to cool.
While the turkey is cooling, put the frozen corn in a medium bowl and defrost for a minute or two in the microwave. It doesn't need to be cooked, just not frozen. Once the corn is defrosted, add it to the turkey, along with the black beans, onion and garlic. Stir until it is all well combined. If you want to make the stuffing spicy, add a few squirts of the Sriracha hot sauce to the mix, but not too much. You don't want it to overpower the other flavors.

Once the peppers have cooled and the skins have been removed, gingerly slice the tops off and remove as much of the seeds and veins as you can without breaking the pepper. With a small spoon, gently slide the stuffing into the peppers until they are full and can't take any more. Using a grill rack set inside a cookie sheet, line the peppers up across the grill. (Or, you know, just grill them.) Place the peppers in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes or so, just until everything is nice and piping hot.

Serve the peppers topped with the Sriracha sauce and some crumbly mexican cheese. A good side would be some mexican-style rice or warm black beans topped with more cheese. Pretty simple and easy, but be sure you have enough peppers to use up the stuffing mix. Enjoy!