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Chicken taco-stuffed bell peppers from What's Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want.
What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want by Gaby Dalkin.
Our cookbook of the week is Eat What You Want by chef Gaby Dalkin. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the author.
To try another recipe from the book, check out: Bacon French onion dip .
Gaby Dalkin tapped into her Bulgarian heritage for this variation on stuffed peppers. “We grew up having stuffed peppers and I can vividly remember my sister, my dad and me all rolling our eyes when my mom would put it on the table because we had it so frequently,” she says.
Typically stuffed with meat — beef, pork or veal — rice, and a blend of Bulgarian spices including oregano, paprika and summer savory, Dalkin treats the filling as she would for a ground chicken taco.
Scented with cumin, chili and garlic powder, and mixed with quinoa, black beans, cheese, salsa and scallions. “You can stuff anything with a taco and it really changes it for the better,” she says, laughing.
Minced chicken is Dalkin’s protein of choice for these stuffed peppers, but you can use any ground meat you like. Serve them with a simple side salad, she recommends, and toppings such as guacamole, sour cream, sliced green onions, cilantro and chopped red onions. “It’s like a meal in a little bell pepper,” she says. “It’s a meal unto itself.”
CHICKEN TACO-STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
1 cup (170 g) multicoloured quinoa
4 large bell peppers, halved (from top to bottom), seeds removed
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz (225 g) ground chicken or ground turkey, pork, or beef
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
1 (15-oz/430 g) can black beans, drained
2 cups (230 g) shredded pepper Jack cheese, plus 1 cup (115 g) for topping
3/4 cup (about 195 g) Chipotle Salsa (recipe follows)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
For the toppings:
Sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, and finely chopped red onions
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33 cm) baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Brush the halved peppers with olive oil and place them cut side up on the baking sheet. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, breaking up the ground meat with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the chicken is fully cooked then remove the pan from the heat. Stir the chicken mixture into the quinoa. Add the black beans, cheese, salsa, and scallions and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
Generously stuff the halved peppers with the chicken-quinoa mixture until all the peppers are full, then cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, covered, then remove the foil, sprinkle a little extra cheese on top of the peppers, increase the heat to 400°F (205°C), and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and slightly golden brown. Garnish with the assorted toppings.
1 (28-ounce/795 g) can fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (roughly 1/2 cup/55 g)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeño chili
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, or more if desired, plus 1 tsp (5 mL) of the adobo sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup (20 g) chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse until everything is evenly blended. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Add more chipotle peppers if you like it extra spicy. Remove from the food processor or blender and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes: 2 1/2 cups (600 mL)
Reprinted from What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want by Gaby Dalkin. Copyright © 2020 Gaby Dalkin. Photography by Matt Armendariz. Published in 2020 by Abrams, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020