Monday, 11 June 2007

Stuffed Peppers (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)


Saturday night is generally the only night when my husband and I eat alone together. Weekdays are a blur for us both, his blurs often occurring in different countries and time zones, and so it’s quite a novel experience to sit down and break bread together.


On bad nights our meal is eaten to the beat of elephantine feet pounding around upstairs. Usually I crack first, and bolt up the stairs promising all manner of heinous punishments unless they pipe down. On good nights the house is silent save for us chatting, and glugging down a bottle of red.


Dinner is always followed by a movie. As we are starved of decent telly here in France, we are amassing a good selection of DVDs. Quite a few of them feature 007; I’m a bit of a sucker for Bond . Christmas is not complete without a Bond movie, nor is Easter or a Bank Holiday. The BBC fed us well in my childhood, I was transfixed by Roger, unimpressed by Timothy, and very excited by Pierce. (I'm too young for Connery, ahem)


I’m afraid I was one of those purists that thought that 007 had to have dark hair. I derided the idea of a light-haired Bond, for me, Daniel was not going to cut it.


Well. How wrong a girl can be. The first time I saw the new Bond movie I sat and salivated. I could be a bit pretentious here and talk about the need to sell this new Bond to the female audience. How the hackneyed ‘male gaze’ so prevalent in traditional Bond films has been replaced by a very female gaze. A gaze that gives us delicious close-ups of a brawny, well-toned body in skimpy trunks. How his infatuation with Vesper Lynd showed a warm human side and introduced the idea that perhaps it was possible to ‘reach’ him emotionally.


I could say all of that. Or I could say, that Daniel Craig gives a gritty performance, that he’s got a fabulous body and really, which girl wouldn’t want to go a few rounds with him?


So, on the DVD menu last Saturday was Casino Royale, and to accompany it I served these Saturday Night Peppers. It was a Double Bill of ‘Mmmm, gorgeous’.



Saturday Night Peppers (Click here for tips on how to avoid cross-contamination)
If you can tolerate dairy products, then you could top these with crumbled feta cheese or goats cheese instead of vinaigrette.

3 peppers (red, yellow, green)
100g Spinach
3 medium mushrooms
20 black olives (pitted) plus a few extra to garnish
175g long grain rice
3 cloves of garlic
0.5-1tsp ground nutmeg (depending on taste)
Black pepper
2 tsp gluten-free Dijon Mustard (here's one)
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
2 tbsp gluten-free yeast extract (here's one)
Sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional)
3 big beef tomatoes
Olive oil
Some green leaves for garnish (spinach, rocket, etc)
Feta or goat's cheese (optional, and obviously not suitable for those suffering from dairy allergies - please don't serve it to them!)
For the vinaigrette:
Click here
  • Heat the oven to 190 degrees C, Gas Mark 5, 375 degrees fahrenheit
  • Set a large steamer saucepan of water to boil. When it is boiling, add the yeast extract and paprika and stir until it has dissolved. Add the rice to the saucepan, place the steamer part on top and steam the spinach for about 4/5 minutes. (if you don't have a steamer, you can cook the spinach in a regular saucepan in a small amount of water. Cover it and let it sweat until it has wilted)
  • Remove the steamer, drain the excess juice off the spinach then chop it quite finely. Sprinkle over the nutmeg and mix it all in. Transfer the spinach to a large mixing bowl
  • Finely chop the mushrooms and garlic, add to the spinach and mix together
  • Slice the black olives into rings and add to the bowl. Add the mustard and mix it all together
  • When the rice is done, drain it, then add it to the bowl. Mix everything together and add the chilli flakes if you want to
  • Slice the peppers in half along their length and cut out the inner bit and scrape out all the seeds
  • Place them in an ovenproof dish facing upwards (smooth side to the base of the dish)
  • Place spoonfuls of the rice 'stuffing' into each pepper. I levelled the top of mine, but next time I might put more stuffing in so that they are 'domed'
  • Cut the beef tomatoes in half. Squeeze the innards all over the peppers and down the sides into the dish. The idea is to create juice in which to sizzle the peppers
  • Generously drizzle olive oil over the peppers and down the sides. You don't want them to stick!
  • A final twist of black pepper, then cover the dish with aluminium foil and place in the centre of the oven
  • Whilst the peppers are cooking, get busy with the vinaigrette. Here's how.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes, then you could move to the top shelf for the next 10 minutes or so (still covered). Remove the foil for the final 5 minutes to brown things off a little (add the goat's or feta cheese if you want to at this point)
  • Check to see if they are done by sticking a knife in the side of one of the peppers. If there's too much resistance, leave them to cook for a bit longer
  • Remove from the oven, place them on a serving plate with some green leaves and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top, finishing by placing a black olive cheekily in the middle
  • Settle down with a good man (or woman), a good DVD and tuck in!
© Pig in the Kitchen 2007


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19 comments:

Suffolkmum said...

So agree re Daniel. I had reservations too, but they were long gone 5 mintes in. The peppers sound delicious, and will be on the mnu this weekend.

Brom said...

owww nooooo

Randomly wandered in due to hunger pangs from my diet temporarily stopping me working ... to find this right up my street offering.

Pig you torment me

.... but don't stop!!!

(more than a sprinkling of chilli for me though!)

Miss Thistle said...

So right about Daniel! but it seems some of my male friends disagree. My theory is he has just the right amount of 'cool and distant' and just the right amount of 'okay, I 'll protect you and die doing it if I have to', if you see what I mean. Back to making the tea, reality beckons....

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Suffolkmum, the cult of Daniel will suck us all in! hope you enjoy the peppers, how flattering that you might make them!

Brom Brom Brom, how can these peppers be bad? I have wracked my brain to see which diet would not applaud them. They are low in fat, certainly nothing saturated, healthy, low calorific value, really, words fail me! AND, if you give them a hefty dose of chilli, the latter will accelerate your metabolism thus enhancing the slimming pepper power. If you were being a complete purist you could omit the vinaigrette, I urge you to give them a whirl!!!!

Miss Thistle, I'm glad you feel the same. Hmmm, now I wonder why those male friends disagree? It is very puzzling, obviously nothing to do with his sexy magnetism. I like your theory, the scene in the shower was very moving I found! Enjoy your tea...peppers is it?! ;-)
Pigx

Brom said...

Absolutely nothing wrong with them unless you are absolutely famished, stuck in an office and the only thing that you can get to eat is fattening things from the vending machine. Fed up with work you open a web page to see....

Hence my rantings, it's so my sort of food!... just spotted at THE wrong time!

Drunk Mummy said...

I'm going to have to give this a go Pig - (the peppers and the Bond film).
Love your label: 'My name is Pig - pig in the kitchen'!
Our Saturday nights are very similar, but with the addition of a gentle snoring noise from me as I inevitably fall asleep before the closing credits.

dulwichmum said...

Dear PITK,

I so hate to burst your bubble, but I have met Daniel Craig, and he has bad breath and red eye lashes. God only knows what is going on in those close fitting swimming trunks, but I would imagine it is most unsightly.

Air brushing is a wonderful thing.

mutterings and meanderings said...

pierce brosnan is my favurite Bond...

Hmm, secret agent allusions in the PITK blog again. I'm sure I know what your other half does for a living ...

Marianne said...

Sounds blissful PITK.

Stay at home dad said...

I think Bond should be a bit hairier, personally. Nice peppers though.

rilly super said...

my husband says much the same things as you about Daniel Craig PITK, and he always makes tea when the bondgirls are on, just to show he only has eyes for me, sigh

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Brom, Oh I get it now...who rattled my cage anyway?!

Drunk Mummy, I would be very honoured if you gave both of these a go...have you not seen the film yet?! I also fall asleep, and recently I woke to the root menu playing incessantly, we had both fallen asleep like old 'uns! I'm supposed to be in the prime of my life.

Dear DulwichMum, this is one of those times when ignorance is bliss. I'm sure you are absolutely right with your observations, but my observations of the silver screen tell a different story. I am glad i don't move in your glamorous circles, a little bit of my happiness would have been taken away from me.

M&M, i may have raved about Daniel, but i think he lacks the finesse of Pierce, i shall have to watch a few more films I'm afraid before I can pronounce definitively. You are so wrong about my husband. Just a boring desk job. Having said that, I have to be careful not to creep up behind him because with a single blow he could kill me. It all goes back to his SAS days in Azerbaijan...ooops, said too much again.

Marianne, bliss is indeed a good way to sum up the evening

SAHD, Pierce was quite hairy I seem to recall, and the few glimpses i've had of Connery, i do believe he was rather hirsute. So perhaps you are chasing down a blind alley with your lovely writing, you should really be the next Bond. Wow. To think the next Bond has posted a comment on my blog, I'm so lucky.

Rilly, what a dear husband you have. Do you not worry slightly that he finds Daniel Craig gorgeous and eschews the Bond girls in favour of tea? Don't want to sow any seeds of worry or anything... but from what I gather you are far more stunning than Eva Green, your husband is a lucky man.
Pigx

Lizzie said...

Pig - I enjoyed Daniel Craig in the film, but thought a couple of thoughts: his eyes were too close together & forehead too low, not to mention his ears.. (poor love!) [Bitch] Also he didn't seem quite 'debonaire' enough or sufficiently insoucient for the part. (You can take the boy out of....)

Still, nice body shots, must say.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm afraid I go for the older man (mature man as hubby likes to be called). So Sean Connery has to be my fave. And that chocolate cake on the side of your blog looks incredible. Crystal x

Stay at home dad said...

The name's Bond, Beardy Bond...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Lizzie, thank-you for dropping by and for your reasoned comments about Daniel...he wasn't very debonair was he? More brute force...I wonder how his character will mature?

CJ, welcome! One woman's Craig is another woman's Connery (or something like that!) thank-you for kind comment about the cake, it is called 'Cake of Success' and I baked it for myself after completing the Paris Half Marathon! I felt i deserved it.

SAHD, Dur dur dum, dur dur dum, de-de-de-dum dum...i'll stop before i get to the complicated guitar riff, but you recognised that as the opening bars to the Bond theme tune right? You are always welcome on my blog Beardy Bond.

lady macleod said...

I'm with you on the new Bond, and I too was skeptical. I am not too young for Sir Connery, he is still the definitive Bond, albeit Pierce did a very good job as well, the rest were crap.

The dish as always looks yummy.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Lady M, very succinctly put!
Pigx

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