When I was a kid I knew the nursery rhyme about Peter picking a peck of pickled peppers long before I knew what a peck, pickling or a pepper was. It seemed like a very mysterious thing that Peter was doing. The part that was most confusing was that he could pick something that was pickled already.
My summer garden is all picked as of today and I think I must have at least a peck of peppers and now I need to pickle them or at least do some kind of preserving. Of course with Carter showing at the state fair horse show this weekend I don’t have a ton of time to pickle or make pepper jelly. I hope that the peppers will keep another few days so I can at least chop some up and put them in vinegar with a little sugar and salt. Russ likes to eat those hot peppers that way and I have less guilt that we are using the bounty of our harvest.
I did make a quick pot of ratatouille with the last of my eggplant and a few of the sweeter peppers and the end of my basil. At least Russ and I will have a healthier meal at home than we would have if we were still at the fair with our RV living horse riding child.
For all my Durham friends if you want a few peppers send me a message and I can leave you a little package at my front door. You will have to take them in the raw form and pickle them, or sauté, fry, roast or cook them yourself. The good news is they hardly have any calories and they produce a ton of flavor.
When I was a child my mother made four meals; hamburgers, spaghetti, baked chicken and stuffed peppers. Three of the four involved ground meat. I have to say the stuffed peppers were the best.
So now with my garden in full-on pepper production I thought I would revisit a taste of the 60’s.
4 large sweet peppers – or in my small pepper case, 8
1 lb of ground meat- I used whole food ground turkey thigh which has no skin ground into it
1 large yellow onion
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
2 eggs -beaten
½ c. Chili sauce (or ketchup)
3 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
Preheat oven to 350º.
Cut the peppers in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pull the stem off.
Mix all the other items together. Fill each half of pepper with meat mixture and place in a baking dish.
Bake for 45-mins to an hour depending on the size of your peppers. Do I need to say small peppers take less time?
If you like things spicier add a few chili flakes to the meat mixture. Serve with chili sauce. (It’s near the ketchup at the grocery store.)
Glad I was able to get all my grilling done for this yummy salad before the thunderstorms came. This is a wonderful way to use any vegetable you like. I used as many different things from my garden as I could and it was delicious. I think it made enough to feed six people as a main course.
1 ½ lb. large peeled and deveined raw shrimp
1 T. olive oil
3 ears of corn
2 zucchini – sliced the long way into ½ planks
1 red onion sliced into ½ inch rounds
4 different peppers- one sweet green, 2 mild banana, one Anaheim and one Poblano- cut in half and seeded
1 c. cherry tomatoes- halved
1 lemon – halved
1 t. white wine vinegar
2 T. pesto base- recipe follows
Salt and Pepper
Heat the grill to high and spray with Pam. Put the corn, onions, peppers, zucchini and lemon cut side down on the grill. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the corn a quarter turn and flip the peppers. Close the cover and cook another 3 minutes. Once the zucchini and onions get grill marks flip them. Turn the corn again.
The peppers will cook fastest. One they are soft, remove them. You don’t want to cook everything too much, just until soft.
The lemon will be the next thing to come off, then the zucchini, onions and last the corn. Let everything cool enough so you can handle it. After it has cooled chop the peppers, onions and zucchini into ½ inch chunks. Cut the corn off the cob and put it all in a bowl.
Turn the grill down to medium. Cover the shrimp in olive oil and place on grill in ne layer. As soon as you get them all down turn them over and cook for no more then a minute. They will get pink very quickly; as soon as each side is pink remove them. There is nothing worse than over cooked shrimp.
Squeeze the grilled lemon on the shrimp and add the pesto base to them. Toss them together with the grilled vegetables and add the cherry tomatoes and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
When my garden is producing an over abundance of basil I make this base of a pesto sauce and freeze it. If I want to add pine nuts and Parmesan cheese I can thaw a puck of base and add those things. But I also like to have just the base to add to recipes that use basil and garlic.
3 cups of Basil leaves- packed
7 cloves of garlic
1 T. olive oil
Put the garlic in a cuisine art and pulse until minced. Add the basil and olive oil and pulse until paste like.
Chili is a great way to make not just a low fat dish, but one that has a lot of veggies that you would not even know are in there that add fiber and bulk without adding many calories.
3 onions chopped
5 cloves of garlic minced
2 lbs of 96 % ground beef or ground turkey breast
1 Green pepper chopped
5 cups of shredded squash (I used 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash)
2 shredded Carrots
3 hot green peppers chopped
½ cup Chili powder
2 T. ground Cumin
1 T. smoked Paprika
2 15 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of liquid – wine, beer, chicken broth or water
1 can of red kidney beans
9 packets of Splenda
1 T. Red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
In a large stockpot on a medium high heat, spray with Pam and add onions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes stirring every once in a while. Add the meat and chop it up with a spoon as you cook it until it is browned. Add all the peppers, squash and carrots. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Add all the spices and the canned tomatoes. Add the liquid and bring boil and simmer for 20 minutes making sure
there is a little liquid in the pot. Add the beans, Splenda and vinegar and cook a few more minutes.