Here we are, 3/4 way into 2020 and guys let’s all agree what a crazy ride this year has been! Holy smokes!
With thousands of deaths as a result of this pandemic, school closures, job losses, and absolute uncertainty about the future. We even started seeing big brands closing their doors. Let’s not even mention how hard it was to get bread flour, vanilla essence or cream cheese while we were in lockdown. Such horror!
I have quite a bit on my plate right now especially with my mom going for an operation in 2 weeks time for her back. Hoping all would be smooth sailing and recovery would be speedy. Please pray for my mom!
One positive thing I have noticed is that people are cooking/baking a wholeee lot more! Which is always a good thing, since asides from being safe indoors, home-cooked food is always made with that extra ingredient aka love (totally
Yeah, life might be a little wobbly for now, so this is actually the perfect time to focus on brighter, happier things like brushing up your cooking skills and getting creative. It is also time to use up the lockdown-purchases items things lying in the pantry. In my case, it was time to take out the box of orzo that has been sitting pretty. So yup, while it has been a while folks and I am back, not empty-handed though, today I came with a tray of Cheesy Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers.
I had a couple of red peppers hibernating in the fridge and I knew I wanted to grill’em. I LOVE grilling peppers. They develop so much rich, deep flavours and get really sweet!
These peppers were stuffed with orzo, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon and cheese which are coincidentally some of my favourite ingredients to work with. Topping it off with extra cheese before popping the peppers under the broiler till the cheese gets all gooey and melty. Finally, top of the peppers with a bit of basil oil at the end. Totally optional but it definitely made it better. Of course, the pine nuts add a good touch of crunch. A perfect go-to for days you’re craving for something simple, hearty, yet comforting.
These stuffed peppers are great when eaten on the day its prepared and equally as good the next day (YES to leftovers!).
Things might be different now but we are all in this together. Oh, let’s not forget those masks as we venture out into a new norm! Good thing that superheroes mostly use masks anyways. Stay safe, keep smiling and maybe give this Cheesy Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers a try.
Eventually, we’ll all overcome this crisis together.
- 3 red bell peppers, halved
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano
- Salt and pepper
- ¾ cup dry orzo
- 4 pieces sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 garlic, grated
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup parmesan
- Black pepper and salt to taste
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Fresh basil
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, stemmed and washed
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Place the basil, water, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a mini-food processor and pulse a few times. Add the olive oil and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
- Set aside
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a 9x13 inch baking dish, toss the peppers with the olive oil, garlic, and a fat pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the oregano. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package directions until al dente. Drain and toss with the lemon juice, zest, sundried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan and mozzarella.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the warm orzo inside the peppers.
- Top with mozzarella and place it under the broiler/grill till cheese melts.
- Drizzle with basil oil and top with pine nuts and basil.