09 September 2010

Wenatchee Farmer's Market & Stuffed Peppers

A couple weekends ago my mom and I made a weekend trip to Leavenworth.  It started out to be a one-day trip to get some fresh fruits and some shopping, but then we decided we didn't want to drive back, and got a hotel for Saturday night.  I then found the Wenatchee Farmer's Market was open only until 1pm on Saturday, and knew we would be cutting it close to get there in time (it is a few hours drive from Lynden).  So, we then added on Friday night! 

We got the the farmer's market and were pleased with the selection of fresh veggies, fruits, chiles and everything else!  It took two trips to the car, but in the end we came out with three flats of peaches, one flat of nectarines, a few pounds of saturn  peaches, a dozen green AND purple bell peppers, red and white onions and the most delicious cantaloupes.  There was so much character, too!  Corn and cantaloupes being sold right out of the back of trucks, and the tastiest homemade pork tamales with spicy tomatillo sauce.  The tamales were the best I've ever had, and only 50 cents each.  Moms and I had two each, and seriously would have gone back for more on Sunday if they had been open!  Unfortunately I was leaving a three days later for Vegas, so couldn't stock up on as much as I wanted.  If I lived within an hour or two of that market I would be there every Saturday.  The prices were CHEAP, and the produce was so much better than what our best grocery stores offer. 

Example:  Stuffed Green Peppers
Sunday night I made stuffed green peppers for supper/lunches before we took off for our trip - I didn't get a final result photo b/c we were starved and they smelled/looked SO good that I forgot!  They were THE best stuffed peppers.  The flavor of the peppers was amazing; so much better than any of the grocery store offerings.  I'd never had a purple pepper before...when fresh it smelled stronger than the green, but when cooked it turned green and was so similar in flavor that they weren't easily discernible from each other.

(this is my first attempt at at collage for the blog, and I think it turned out a little small.
I'm trying to figure out the correct pixels and am going to just improve as time goes on.
shout out to Loren for putting a generous amount of cheese on the peppers ;) )
Recipe:
This originated from various recipes I found online and tweeked to our tastes.  By tweeked I mean actually made it a bit spicy (mid-westerners *say* spicy, but really means *flavor*) and cooked them so the peppers retained some firmness.

2 Cups Water
1 Cup uncooked white rice
4 Large bell peppers, halved & seeded
1.0- 1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic cloves, to taste (I probably used 6 cloves, diced)
garlic powder, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
cumin, to taste
vegetable broth

1. Bring water and rice to a boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350
3. Brown the beef, drain, return to stove top and add the onions, cooked rice, and spices.  Stir well
4. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, stir well and let simmer for 15 ish minutes.  After 10 minutes or so, add some vegetable broth if it looks too dry. 
5.  Put the halved bell peppers into a 9x13 baking dish.  Note: some recipes call for steaming the peppers before hand. However, I really think that 45-60 minutes in the oven is plenty of time, and they do turn out nice and soft, but not mushy.  I'm afraid that if they were pre-steamed they'd be much.  But, if you like really soft veggies, you may want to try the steaming.
6. Spoon mixture into the bell peppers and place in oven for 45 minutes
7. Remove from oven and top with the cheese.  We used fresh mozzarella and it was amazing!  I've also used cheddar in the past with great success.  Hello, it is cheese...anything would work, I'm certain.
8. Bake until the cheese is hot an bubbly and serve!

3 comments:

  1. mmm...chilies would add a nice little kick to the dill refrigerator pickles! I tried them last night and they were much better than I anticipated! LOL! ;) I did NOT count the dill. I bought like 2 or 3 bunches from a stand at the farmer's market and cut stuck them in the container I used, I also used a little more garlic. Let me know how they turn out for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those look super delicious! Love me some farmer's markets ... Andrea pointed out one that's close to us that I need to check out. :)

    ReplyDelete