Stuffing Bell Peppers with Leftover Chicken Cutlets and Stir-Fry Tofu and Vegetables

Baking, Poultry Recipes, Vegetable Recipes

I wonder if more people cook at home these days. With a plethora of cooking blogs, books, and TV channel and programs that we have, do you think they attract more people to cooking? Convert cooking non-believers into aficionados? Raise an interest in trying different recipes, maybe?

Chicken, Tofu, Vegetable Stuffed Bell Peppers by Tiny Chili Pepper

I won’t lie, cooking takes a lot of time and energy. We all know that it starts WAY before the actual cooking itself, right? Planning a meal, coming up with an idea for a menu, (in my case, it just means asking myself, “What should I cook tonight?”) is the hard part for me. Once I figure it out though, things just seem to happen— almost like moving on an automated-pilot mode. So in my situation, inspiration matters. Hence the collection of cook books, the email subscription to cooking blogs, the food talks with friends and family, and the occasional tune in to cooking programs on TV. I am thankful for the existence of this recipe universe that I have.

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Chicken, Tofu, Vegetables, Breadcrumbs by TCP

Speaking of recipe idea, I came across a good one the other day: Stuffed Bell Pepper by Giada De Laurentiis. In this recipe, she stuffed the peppers with eggplants, olives, capers, and tofu. Tofu! Ha! An idea appeared. I happened to have made stir-fry tofu with broccoli and green peas the previous day. Got some baked chicken cutlets too. (At this point, the tofu and vegetables have absorbed all of the flavors: garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil). So I decided to combine the two leftovers, pulse slightly in a food processor, add a little bit of a good salsa sauce, stuff it into roasted bell peppers, and add some breadcrumbs on top. Yum! Such a nice way to use up all of my leftovers.

Here’s how I did my Chicken, Tofu, and Vegetables Stuffed Bell Pepper:

For the Stir-Fry Tofu and Vegetables:

  • 1 extra firm tofu (pressed to drain and then cut into squares with ½ inch thickness). I found out later that the tofu bound the stuffing together nicely. It’s pretty great!
  • 2 cups of broccoli (cut into bite size)
  • 1 cup of green peas
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (optional)
  • 4 garlic (chopped)
  • 4 Thai peppers (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I cooked the garlic and peppers in sesame oil for two minutes. Then I added soy sauce, fish sauce, peas, broccoli, water, salt, and pepper. Covered the pan with a lid for three to five minutes. Once the sauce started to simmer, I arranged my tofu slices in the pan to make sure that they could absorb the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Covered the pan again and let it cook for another five minutes.

For the chicken cutlet: see Mark Bittman’s recipe here. (I used chicken breast, olive oil, a little bit of dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, and baked for 15 minutes.)

Stuffing the Bell Peppers:

  • 3 red bell peppers (halved and cored)
  • Drizzled with olive oil
  • Roasted for 30 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combined chicken cutlets and tofu with vegetables, pulsed very slightly in a food processor, added a good salsa sauce (optional, I wanted to add a little bit of spicy tomato and pepper taste in the stuffing), scooped into the bell peppers, sprinkled breadcrumbs, and broil for 2 minutes. (Might want to move the oven rack down, further from the broiler before starting. My topping was a bit burnt there, oops…Still very good though!).

Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

Heavenly Buttery Soft Broccoli

Vegetable Recipes

A new favorite Brocolli cooked with anchovies by Harini

Salty and aromatic, garlicky, and buttery soft broccoli! The dish has earned a spot on my favorite list. Thanks, Food52. The trick? Immerse the vegetable in boiling water (also known as blanching) for five minutes and then cook it with olive oil, garlic, chili peppers, and anchovies. Yes, anchovies! The result? Incredibly tender, savory, but yet sweet broccoli that would melt in your mouth.

I do mine slightly different from Food52‘s recipe. Here’s my adapted version:

(Serve 2)

  • 1 bunch of broccoli (a bunch that would be enough for two people). I remove the florets by hands and make sure that they’re not too chunky.
  • 8 anchovies (chopped). I use marinated ones. The original recipe asks for 4 anchovies but I think 8 make my dish much more flavorful. I believe anchovy is the key ingredient here 😀
  • 3 garlic (chopped)
  • 3—4 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 hot finger peppers or 2 Thai peppers (chopped)
  • Black pepper

Steps:

  • Fill 1/3 of a medium pot with water and bring to boil over medium heat
  • Add broccoli florets into the water, cover the pot, and let simmer for five minutes
  • Meanwhile, heat a medium pan (over medium heat) and add olive oil, garlic, anchovies, and chili peppers. Stir frequently and let them cook for one minute or until the anchovies start to melt in the oil. Reduce the heat.
  • Once the five minutes of hot bath is done, drain the broccoli, and add into the pan
  • Stir and mix the broccoli with the olive oil-anchovies concoction. Add black pepper. Cover the pan, lower the heat, cook for another three minutes (until the broccoli become soft), and then turn off the heat. Let the broccoli stay in the covered pan to soak the olive oil, anchovies, garlic, and peppers for at least half hour before serving. (The original recipe calls for 2 hours of cooking over low heat, but I find that my broccoli gets soft enough after the blanching, then the three-minute cooking with anchovies, and the half hour of resting in the covered pan. I think the heat gets trapped and continues to cook the vegetable for a while.)

Great to serve by itself, over rice, on top of egg noodle or pasta, or as a side dish to Yakiniku-style Beef and Sauteed Onion.

Inspired by a similar recipe using the same method of cooking, I tried my recipe above with carrots! I found that shredded or thin-sliced carrots work better for this method. I skip the blanching part and just cook the carrots directly in the anchovies-garlic-chili pepper infused olive oil. Stir and mix them well, cover the pan, lower the heat a bit, and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the carrots rest in the covered pan for half hour before serving. The mixture of anchovies, garlic, and chili peppers magically brings out the natural sweetness of the carrot. So good!

Carrot cooked in anchovies-garlic-chili peppers infused olive oil by Harini

Hope you like it. Thanks for visiting!

Peace