Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Green Peppers Stuffed with Pork and Eggplant

I had some ground pork in the freezer and I decided to take it out and defrost it without really having a solid plan for its consumption. And there was quite a bit of it, too - a little over one-and-a-third pounds. At the time I bought it, I think I had some vague idea of meatloaf or meatballs and I bought some ground beef and ground turkey at the same time. But summertime is no time for meatloaf, and meatballs take time and are best reserved for special occasions. So I used the beef for the meat sauce, and the turkey and pork just sat there, chilling, waiting for me to decide what to do with them. I am still not sure exactly why I took the pork out when I did, but I did and there it was, all ready to be dressed up but with nowhere to go.

And I know it may sound strange, but I don't believe I have ever used ground pork before. I think that is why I bought it back when I did - I have never done the three-meat loaf or ball and I have been curious as to how much that really impacts the texture and flavor. I still plan to try it, but not anytime soon.

So what to do with this ground pork? Something different, that's for sure. I could make a pasta sauce but I wanted to do something a little more exotic with it - it was pork after all. And I had just made the meat sauce and wasn't really in the mood for more of that.

I don't know when the idea of making something a little further south and east of Italy crossed my mind, but once it did, I could not get my mind off of making some kind of moussaka-inspired dish. Now I know that moussaka is made with lamb, but once I got the idea in my head it would not go away, so that is what I decided to make. I started on the sauce with the half-formed thought that I would turn it into some kind of baked casserole that resembled the dish, but I did not feel like making a full-out moussaka. Instead I chopped up the eggplant and cooked it with the meat sauce. Which left me with a humongous amount of sauce, and nowhere to put it.

It does look good though, doesn't it? Thick and rich, with a touch of warmth from the cinnamon. The more I pondered it, the more it seemed it wanted to be stuffed into something. Like the gorgeous green bell peppers I had found at the Big Apple.

I had such success with my earlier effort at stuffing peppers that I've been wanting to try it again. This time, instead of using couscous to bind the sauce, I added about a half a cup of grated pecorino romano cheese that I just happened to have on hand.

It didn't take long at all to cut the tops off of the peppers and clean out the seeds. It was quick work to fill each with the meat and cheese mixture. I sprinkled a little grated parmesan on top and put them in the oven for about half an hour. The end result was rich and flavorful, and they tasted even better with some toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley sprinkled over the top.

Now that I've had so much good luck with stuffing peppers, I am eager to see what else is out there that can be stuffed. Last time I was at the green market I noticed some beautiful round globes of green and yellow zucchini. Hmmm . . .
Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes


1/2 batch of Mediterranean-Style Ground Pork Sauce with Eggplant (recipe follows)
4 green peppers, tops cut off and seeded
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Created 29 June 2008

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Slice a tiny bit off of the bottom of the peppers if they do not stand upright, being careful not to cut through the bottom.

Mix meat sauce with pecorino romano cheese. Divide evenly among the four peppers. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Place in a shallow 8 x 8" baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until the peppers are slightly wrinkled and the parmesan cheese has turned golden brown.

Exported from Home Cookin 5.6 (

Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb. ground pork
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 24-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 baby eggplant, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste

Created 28 June 2008

Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until translucent. Add pork, salt and pepper, and cook until meat is browned.

Add white wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, oregano and cinnamon. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

Let simmer over a low flame until the sauce has reduced until thickened so that you can run a wooden spoon across the bottom of the skillet and no liquid runs across the line created by the spoon.

Can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen for later use.

Exported from Home Cookin 5.6 (

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...