Dolma Peppers

When a friend brings you fresh, unidentified peppers from their garden, you eat them. How you eat them is the question.

I was given three smedium dark green peppers. Since I wasn’t sure what they were and therefore how they would taste raw (sweet? mild? tangy? spicy? fire in my mouth?), I decided to stuff them. Luckily, I had enough random ingredients on-hand to make what I’m going to call “Dolma Peppers.” They’re stuffed with a sausage and rice mixture and topped with a tzatziki-ish sauce. Baked in the oven, they turned out perfectly. Soft with a little crunch where the mixture met the pan and so flavorful! My apologies again though because I didn’t take a single picture. They went from idea to pan to my mouth quite quickly.

Dolma Pepper Ingredients:

  • Peppers (any kind you can hollow out will work)
  • Mild ground sausage (or hot if you’re into that burn-the-back-of your-throat feeling)
  • Cooked rice (I used leftover Mexican-inspired stuck pot rice – recipe coming soon)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop the tops off the peppers and hollow them out. Set aside.
  2. Brown the sausage. When cooked, add the rice to the pan. Stir it all together. Remove from heat.
  3. Stuff sausage and rice mixture into the peppers. The peppers I worked with were fairly skinny, so carefully using a chopstick helped to really jam the mixture into the whole length of each pepper.
  4. Place stuffed peppers into a lightly oiled baking dish. Drizzle peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. If you want to bake them at a higher temp, decrease the baking time.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before plating. Top with tzatziki-ish sauce to taste.

Tzatziki-ish Sauce Ingredients:

  • Cup of Greek yogurt
  • Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • Teaspoon of Greek seasoning
  • 1 chopped chive
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (maybe slightly less)

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly mix all the sauce ingredients together and refrigerate while the peppers cook.

SSS Sauce

In every kitchen – from that of a homemaker to that of a college frat boy – you are sure to find a random selection of condiments. Part of my collection of late has included half a jar of fig preserves. It’s delicious. I should have used it right up, but that’s the thing about condiments – they blend in and become part of the landscape. If you’re like me, you kind of stop noticing them. Once I realized that short, shiny thing on the door was in fact filled with still edible delights, I decided to put it to good use. SSS Sauce was born. It’s sweet and salty with a hint of spice.

This sauce was mindlessly easy and went nicely with pork, leftover Indian rice & asparagus.

I mixed roughly 3 tablespoons tamari, 2 heaping spoons of fig preserves and 1 big spoonful of roasted red chili paste in a small, microwave safe bowl. I stirred it and let it sit on the stove top while I looked after the rice to keep it from burning. Once everything was done and plated, I popped the sauce in the microwave for 20 seconds. It was nicely warmed, and the hit of heat helped the ingredients gel together more. I gave it another stir & topped the pork with it. I had a little extra, so I drizzled a bit on the rice, too. It was the perfect finishing touch. These measurements made just enough for two servings.

Enjoy!

-L