Nature never ceases to amaze and provides you with a daily dose of inspiration when you need the most! The past few weeks have been rather hectic for me hence I was looking for a quick fix which can be prepared less than an hour and at the same time is delicious and not exactly instant ramen. Stuffed bell peppers seemed like the perfect solution for those looking for an easy and healthy dish without spending a fortune and at the same time having a vibrant colorful dish which looks like a million bucks!
Bell peppers are an amazing gift of nature which are completely hollow(barring the seeds of course!) in the inside making them ideal candidates for stuffing. Whether you are using tiny sweet peppers or larger bell peppers , this recipe works perfectly. Another advantage is you can make the stuffing in advance , store it in the refrigerator and prepare your dish within minutes after a hectic day of work, as long as you have bell peppers of course! Cottage cheese works perfectly well with bell peppers as the sweetness of the peppers is complemented well by the mild acidity in the cheese. Of course you can use store bought cottage cheese, but ideally it is best to make it at home. Most recipes I have come across use skim milk for making cottage cheese, however I prefer to use full fat milk as the yield of cheese is more once the citric acid ( you can use a lemon or store bought citric acid) reacts with the milk, for the same volume as opposed
- 500 ml full fat milk
- 1 potato (peeled and boiled)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice ( citric acid crystals can be used as an alternative)
- 1/2 tea spoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon table sugar
- 1/2 tea spoon dried thyme
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 2 Sprigs fresh parsley
- In a saucepan heat the milk such that it starts to steam but doesn't boil. Remove milk from heat and add the lemon juice and stir slowly for 4-5 minutes. Let the mixture rest for about 45 minutes, the curds will slowly start separating.
- Place a cheesecloth over a bowl and separate the cheese curds from the whey. Rinse the curds under cold water and remove the cheesecloth from the bowl. Squeeze it dry and and transfer to another bowl. ( Please note you can avoid these two steps if you choose to buy cottage cheese, then you can straight away move to step 3)
- Heat oil in a frying pan and add the shallots. Fry till it turns transparent. Now add the boiled potato after cutting it to small pieces and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the cottage cheese along with paprika , salt and dried thyme. Cook for couple of minutes then add the sugar and cook till the cheese and potato have mixed well together. Now the stuffing is ready.
- Slice the top of the bell pepper and remove the seeds . Stuff the bell pepper . Coat the exterior lightly with oil.
- Pre -heat the oven to 375 F and cook the bell peppers for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven , garnish with parsley and serve as shown below