Hot Freaking End of Summer Recipe

1 09 2010

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” Everyone is familiar with this famous quote from William Tell, but every winter is the winter of my discontent. It is almost 100 degrees outside today, but I know freezing weather, ice, snow, heavy sweaters, dismally bleak and bitter frigid days are just around the corner. I am a testy bitch when it comes to the end of warmth, so I am trying to find a silver lining in the inevitable onslaught of sub-arctic hell. So on a brighter side I am playing with a plethora of end-of-the-season fresh peppers just now coming into their own.

New Mexico produces an awesome pepper called “Hatch” that serves as a milder version of the Serrano Peppers that I can’t cook with (because some people in my family complain about their food being too hot – come to think of it, these same family members also love winter – an argument for euthanasia if I have ever heard one). The recipe that follows can easily substitute Serranos if you are not surrounded by whiny people. Many other great summer, winter, and othwise recipes are readily available at Epicurious, a great resource for foodies and cooks (they also have a great app if you use those things).

Risotto Stuffed Peppers

8 large Hatch Peppers
3 Cups Arborio Rice
2 Tbls. Butter (not butter spread or margarine diluted with water or air)
2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 White Onion, finely chopped
1 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 Cup Mixture of Fresh Oregano, Basil, and Garlic, finely Chopped
1 Fresh Jalapeno, Seeded and Finely Chopped
3.5 Cups Vegetable Broth, Infused overnight in Assam (Black) Tea*
1/2 # Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, and very coarsely chopped – saute briefly
1.5 Cups Freshly Grated Asiago Cheese

Place one cup tea in broth and refrigerate overnight to infuse flavors.

Roast Peppers under broiler until all four sides begin to blacken. Cool and remove 1/3 off the top of each (creating a "boat" to fill), removing all seeds and membranes

Heat butter and oil in 1 Quart saucepan, add onions, cilantro, herbs, garlic, and jalapeno – stir for approximately 2 minutes.

Add Arborio rice and one cup of broth. Cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Keep adding liquid and stirring until it is all absorbed – risotto should be thick and creamy. Add cooked shrimp and stir into risotto.

Carefully spoon mixture into pepper shells until almost completely filled.

Top with Asiago Cheese and refrigerate for approximately two hours (can be prepared to this point the day before.)

Place in convection oven at 350 degrees for one hour, until cheese is melted.

*Assam Black Tea can be purchased at

Serves four people.

Sounds difficult but is remarkably easy – especially compared to the task of chipping two inches of ice from your car windows in preparation for a miserable winter of discontent.

Come to think of it, I believe that quote may have come from William Shatner or some other William – either way, Billy Hell I hate cold!




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