Lately, my husband and I have been trying to be more organised–with everything, grocery shopping, house cleaning, bill payments, etc, etc. In that vein, we, whilst going over meals for the week, came up with an idea. We’re going to have ‘NEW DINNER SATURDAYS’! This means that every week, we have a certain day to make something for dinner that we’ve never had before. This way, we try something new, AND we can plan our shop during the week as well!
This week we made: Spanakopita with cous cous stuffed peppers.
We had some leftover chicken, and ate that along with it, but the rest of the meal was never before made in our kitchen! We have had other types of stuffed peppers, but not this type of recipe.
The spanakopita was made following a recipe my friend, YoungWifey, put on her blog. See her post HERE. I added a few things (a little garlic, some lemon juice, and dried dill) that I had seen in other recipes.
Her recipe was really easy and delicious too! I was a little concerned about how much spinach to use, especially as she stated a preference for frozen spinach. I bought a 1 kg bag of chopped spinach from the store. The spinach was formed into balls, and on the back it stated that 9 balls=about 250g. Figuring that a package of frozen spinach in America is probably about 1 1b, I put in 17 balls, which was a bit more than a pound, but I thought, better safe than sorry. My friend’s recipe said the mixture used about 10 filo sheets, but I used 13 (maybe because of the added spinach, or because maybe the filo sheets here are smaller, who knows). And, actually, we had a mess of spinach mix left over. We just cooked it along with the peppers, and ate it on the side as well! All in all, the spinach to feta ratio was to our likeing, and they turned out delicious and crispy! We’ll definitely have them again some other time!
The stuffed peppers were crazy simple. The recipe called for 6 peppers, but we just made 2.
- 2 large peppers (preferably red, yellow, or orange)
- 100g of cous cous (and 100g water to boil it in)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- half of an onion, finely chopped
- a handful of olives (we used green, but any would do)
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped
- a small handful of fresh parsley
- a quarter tsp of sweet smoked paprika
- a big pinch of cinnamon
- a generous shake of Mrs Dash (which I put in most things, now that I finally scored some from the States)
- 1 egg yolk, or a little milk
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
- Wash your peppers, then, taking a small sharp knife, cut out a small wedge from the pepper (from top to bottom).
- Very carefully cut out the seeds and a little of the pith inside.
- In a pan, saute the onions until translucent. Then add the garlic, tomatoes, olives and other herbs and spices. Let this cook for another few minutes, until the garlic has cooked a bit, and then set aside in a little bowl.
- In the same pan, pour 100g of water and bring to a boil. Once boiled, add the cous cous and the other ingredients. Leave to sit for about 5 minutes, or until the cous cous is soft. Don’t worry if its a little al dente, the time in the oven will cook it a bit more.
- Once your cous cous mixture has cooled a bit, pour in the egg yolk and mix it together. That done, begin to stuff the peppers with a small tea spoon until its mostly full. The recipe said to fill them three-quarters full, but we stuffed ’em full up and they turned out fine.
- Place your stuffed peppers onto a lightly oiled baking tray or dish (if using a large tray, you may want to prop your peppers up with some foil). Lightly drizzle some olive oil on top, and then pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes.
Our peppers came out well cooked, but not very browned. If you like more of a ‘chargrilled’ effect, stick them under the grill (broiler) for the last few minutes so the tops get a little blackened.