- Cooking

Wonderful Sweet Red Peppers

Often overlooked, red peppers contribute so much to healthy eating, from being just one of a number of ingredients to being the only one – the star, co-star and chorus of the entire peppery show. Today, we’ll have a look at both ends of the ‘just add’ scale of pepper values.


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Peppery Chicken

 

Cut 3 good sized chicken supreme breasts (boneless, skinless) into mouth sized cubes and brown them in olive oil, turning them to stop them sticking. Set them aside and in the same pan soften 1 sliced onion and a deseeded, sliced red, a green and a yellow pepper.

While these gently soften, peel, and parboil 3 or 4 potatoes cut into larger than mouth sized pieces. Cook them for just 4 minutes then drain and set them aside.

Back to the peppers, add 3 sliced tomatoes, 2 grated cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp of Chilli Ketchup and 3 tbsp of Tomato Ketchup.

Mix the ingredients together before adding the chicken and potatoes, 300ml of chicken stock, 1 tbsp of Cider & Horseradish Mustard, mixed herbs and a bay leaf. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, adding a handful of olives 5 minutes before the end. (You want the potatoes fondant rather the watery.)

Serve and enjoy with a good hunk of bread to soak up the juices.

Classic Ratatouille

 

The classic ‘rat’ comes in many shapes and sizes, from gastronomic works of art to rather sad stews. We like to aim for something in between the two.

Cut all of your vegetables into roughly the same shape, size and deseed – aubergines, courgettes, red peppers, tomatoes, celery, and 2 grated cloves of garlic.

Soften the onions first for 5 minutes then add the peppers and celery. Next comes the aubergine and garlic for a couple of minutes then everything else. Add 2 tsp of thyme leaves, combining everything together.

Pour in 150ml of vegetable or chicken stock and a seriously good few glugs of Bloody Mary Ketchup, with 2 tbsp of Chilli Jam for good measure.

Lid on, heat down and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Check the contents, giving it a good stir. Taste the celery and pepper for their ‘crunch factor’ and the juices for flavour and seasoning.

At this stage that crunch / sog ratio should be about right, but a further 10 minutes on a slightly livelier simmer with the lid off will bring everything together.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

 

Dice and soften 2 small shallots in oil for 6 minutes then add 1 grated clove of garlic and 200g of finely chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar). Sweat this all down for a few minutes before adding 250g of quinoa, 550ml of water and a few good shakes of Tomato Ketchup. Season and let the quinoa simmer for 25 minutes.

NOTE: Unless the quinoa pack says that it is rinsed, immerse it in cold water for 2 minutes to remove the outer shell, then rinse it through a fine meshed strainer. Drain properly and set aside ready to cook.

While that’s happening, cut 6 peppers in half lengthways, deseed them and remove any overzealous pith. Dot and spread a little of our garden sweet Mint Sauce in the base of each half. Roughly cut 250g of firm sheep’s cheese such as Berkswell or ‘Hello Ewe’ (yes really) into little cubes. Finaly chop a handful of parsley / coriander mix.

When the quinoa is soft and the liquid absorbed, stir the parsley and coriander into the quinoa / pepper mixture along with half the cheese.

Fill the pepper boats, add more cheese to the top and bake at 180 C / Gas Mark 6 for 18 to 20 minutes.

This slightly sweet stuffed pepper works so well on a spicy tomato base. For this, simply pour a tin of chopped tomatoes into a pan and reduce it for 15 minutes with plenty of Chilli Jam, Chilli Ketchup and perhaps some thick Tomato Ketchup for balance.

Now, seasoned and fired up to taste, do a ‘cheffy swoosh’ on the plate, add the peppers and enjoy.

 

Ordered, Delivered, Enjoyed

 

 

Enjoy the Taste of Stokes

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