Mom’s Stuffed Peppers (Ardei Implut in Rumania)

Six 5-inch sweet green peppers
Boiling water for blanching
1 pound chopped beef
1/4 cup uncooked white rice or 1/2 cup cooked rice or bread crumbs
1 medium yellow onion, grated
1 carrot, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
3 eggs
Water to cover

Sauce
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
3 tabelspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Cut away the stem end of the peppers and remove seeds. Blanch in boiling water and invert to drain while preparing the meat mixture for the filling.

Combine all ingredients except water. Mix thoroughly. Stuff peppers compactly and even with the top. Stand upright in a casserole and cover with water. Bake 45 minutes at 350 F. Remove cover and and increase heat to 400 F for 15 minutes.

Cook sauce on top of the stove, stirring continuously till thick, approximately 10 minutes over moderate heat. Add to the pepper in the casserole, turn off heat. The heat of the oven is sufficient to lightly brown the tops of the stuffed peppers and cook the sauce with the liquid in the casserole.

From Leah Leonard

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