White Beans and Tomatoes

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One of the great things about Italian cooking is there are so many simple methods and combinations that result in something amazing. I made these beans twice in a week, once for company with the stuffed peppers. I didn't have any sage, which is traditional, so I used oregano.

Warm two to four cloves of crushed garlic in three tablespoons of olive oil (can use less if you want) until garlic is browned. Discard garlic and add two cups of cooked white beans, tossing until beans are warmed and coated in oil. Add four to five large tomatoes, diced, to the pot with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and one tablespoon of dried oregano. Bring everything to a boil, then simmer for about twenty minutes. Taste for salt again, and if you prefer to use fresh herbs add them now. Serves 4. Pictured with biscuits made from a whole grain version of biscuit mix.

Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This recipe eliminates everything I disliked about stuffed peppers as a kid. Instead of large, bland bell peppers the smaller, spicy green chilies (like a hatch chili) are used, which have a chance to soften and char in the oven. Milk soaked bread crumbs instead of rice round out the filling. Ground pork is used instead of ground beef, which is cheaper where I am. These peppers are are a great make-ahead and can be picked up and eaten out of hand at room temperature.

Wash and half five green hatch chilies, cutting out the stems and seeds. Mix half a pound of ground pork (not too lean) with half as much milk soaked bread crumbs. Add one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of pepper, and one tablespoon grated Italian white cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, whatever you have in the fridge). Mix well and press a layer of meat mixture into peppers. Oil a baking pan and arrange peppers in one layer. Cover peppers loosely and bake for ten minutes at 350 degrees; remove cover and turn oven up to 400 degrees. Bake for another ten minutes. Serves 3.