Monday, July 18, 2011

Stuffed Banana Peppers

This recipe was a great way to eat our first batch of banana peppers from our garden.  Because we only had 6 or 7 banana peppers, we also stuffed 3 of our green peppers to use up the filling.  We just used the tomato products we had on hand, so the sauce components are flexible.  Depending on whether you use more prepared sauce or more canned tomato sauce, you will need to adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes.  Although this recipe contains lots of ingredients, prep time was less than 30 minutes.

Stuffed Banana Peppers
Adapted from

12 medium banana peppers
1-2 T butter
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped celery
16 oz prepared sauce
15 oz canned tomato sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
1 egg
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c grated parmesan
1 lb ground beef
3/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 c grated mozzarella

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2) Cut tops off of peppers; remove ribs and seeds.
3) Add peppers to boiling water; simmer until tender but firm, about 5 minutes.
4) Drain peppers; set aside.
5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6) Chop edible parts of pepper tops.
7) Melt butter in a large skillet; saute chopped pepper, onion and celery until tender, about 5 minutes.
8) Add tomato sauces, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
9) Stir and let simmer 10 minutes.
10) Combine remaining ingredients and 1/2 c sauce in a large mixing bowl.
11) Spoon enough sauce into a 9x13 baking dish to thinly cover the bottom of the dish.
12) Stuff peppers with ground beef mixture; arrange in single layer in baking dish.
13) Top peppers with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese.
14) Bake for 45 minutes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mixed Berry Ice Cream

A few weeks ago we found an old hand crank ice cream maker in an antique store in Evans City, PA.  It definitely shows its age but appeared to be completely functional.  We put it to the test for the first time today with fantastic results!  I had to run out mid-cranking to get more ice, and it took about 35 minutes of cranking to get the finished product.  I'm happy to say that the wait and the work was worth it because this is literally the best ice cream I have ever tasted.  Our minds are racing with all of the possible ice cream flavors we can make.  For this batch, we used 2 c of blackberries from the farmer's market and 1 c each of red and black raspberries from our road trip to Triple B Farms in Washington County today.

Mixed Berry Ice Cream
Adapted from Eggs on Sunday

2 pints heavy cream
1 1/2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
4 c mixed berries

1) Mix cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium-sized sauce pan.
2) Heat slowly while stirring to dissolve sugar.
3) In a blender, combine cream and berries; pulse until well blended.
4) Place mixture in refrigerator until cool.
5) Make according to ice cream maker instructions.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Soaked Buttermilk Waffles

These waffles were nice and light and lacked the graininess typical of baked goods made with whole wheat flour.  I'm not sure if it was the soaking or the fact that I used whole wheat pastry flour.  I'm really becoming a fan of buttermilk -- it adds such a nice flavor.

The batter was a pretty typical texture-wise when I used whole wheat pastry flour.  Using regular whole wheat flour, the batter was much goopier than I expected.  The waffles still baked up fine though.

Soaked Buttermilk Waffles
Adapted from Simply Real

2 c whole wheat flour
2 c cultured buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 T melted butter

1) In a large bowl, combine flour and buttermilk; allow to sit at room temperature for 12 - 24 hours.
2) Preheat waffle iron; preheat oven to 200 degrees.
3) Whisk remaining ingredients into batter.
4) Prepare waffles according to waffle maker instructions.
5) As waffles finish, transfer to preheated oven (place directly on rack).
6) Serve with butter and maple syrup.