Jen is hosting a photography contest through today where the winner receives a hand painted picture of their submission. I’m submitting this picture as my entry. Her post has a whole bunch of tips for improving your photography. Definitely check it out if you’re trying to brush up your skills. I tried using an interesting background, good lighting and garnish (3 of her tips!) to make this photo stand out.
I can be super indecisive sometimes. Most of the time I’m not, particularly in important or professional settings, but ask me what I feel like eating or “what’s your favorite food” (<—hardest question ever!) and I’ll probably waffle for a good 20 minutes or so. I annoy myself.
So, 4 peppers sat in my fridge for about 10 days. They needed to be used asap. Stuffed peppers sounded like a good solution. Right? Yeah, kind of. Except, there was this persistent little voice saying “risotto sounds really good right now” that wouldn’t go away too. Ahhh, decisions!
Growing up there was only one kind of risotto in our house, sausage & mushroom. It was cheesy, hearty and so damn good in the winter. I know you can make risotto with practically anything and I’ve eaten many variations but, when I think of the dish, I immediately conjure up the one my mom makes. Considering there’s still snow left on the ground over here, that risotto was sounding pretty darn good.
Back to that decision. I kid you not when I say I stood in front of the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, door open, (so wasteful, I know) staring at peppers on one side of the produce drawer, mushrooms on the other and trying to decide which meal to make. And then it hit me.
Peppers stuffed with risotto!
I bought chicken this week for the first time in months (well, actually I bought it last week but had to throw it out after losing power for 2 days) and these were the perfect side dish to the cashew crusted baked chicken breasts I made for dinner. Since I knew we’d be eating these as a side, I left the sausage from mom’s risotto out, but they would be delicious as a main dish with it in the stuffing as well.
I’ll be honest, the stuffing isn’t a “true” risotto based on the preparation but, it’s got the same taste and flavor components which definitely satisfied my craving. Also, it’s easier than a true risotto, always a good thing.
Besides their taste, I’m kind of obsessed by how similar they look to mini pumpkins. Perfectly festive for this time of year.
Indecisiveness never tasted so good.
Cheesy Mushroom Stuffed
Yield: 4-5 peppers
- 4-5 medium orange peppers
- 1 1/4 cups cooked brown rice
- 8 oz. sliced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, divided
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut tops of peppers off and clean out the insides. Sauté butter, olive oil, shallots, garlic and half the rosemary (1/2 tablespoon) in a medium pan for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a dash of salt & pepper, toss to combine and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add sherry wine and let wine and water from mushrooms cook off completely, about 5-7 more minutes. Remove from heat. Combine mushrooms, cheese and cooked rice with remaining rosemary in a medium bowl and season with salt & pepper to taste. Stuff peppers with the mixture and place in a square baking dish with about 1/2 an inch of water on the bottom. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
*Optional-top peppers with a sprinkling of bread crumbs & olive oil about 5-10 minutes before finished for a crunchy topping.