the rainy kitchen

cooking through the rain in southeast alaska

Category: baked

cannellini stuffed peppers

There are so many delicious ways to stuff peppers. The little boats that half peppers make are perfect for filling with various ingredients to make a simple meal with so much flavor. I make stuffed peppers a few different ways. This recipe with Cannellini beans makes a yummy vegetarian dinner with plenty of protein.

Cannellini Stuffed Peppers

1 small onion
5 cloves garlic
2 c. chopped zucchini
1 c. chopped mushrooms
3/4 c. chopped kalamata olives
1/2 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
fresh basil
1 tbs crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbs capers
1 29 oz. can of cannellini beans (or two 15 oz cans)
6-8 bell peppers (red, yellow and/or orange)
paremesan cheese
olive oil
salt
fresh spinach
balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large and deep sided pan, saute onion and 4 cloves garlic in olive oil. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and let cook. Add the olives, sun dried tomatoes and beans. Stir all together and add the red pepper (if you don’t like heat you can add less, this will give it a nice kick though), oregano, capers, a handful of freshly chopped basil, a couple pinches of sea salt, and stir all together. Let cook for 5 minutes or so and turn off heat.

Cut your bell peppers in half and remove seeds and core. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of your baking dishes (you’ll probably need two). Stuff each half of the pepper with as much of the filling as you can fit in. You don’t want it overflowing much though, because it will just fall out. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the peppers are soft and roasted. Sprinkle the peppers with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

In a large saute pan, saute one clove of garlic in olive oil. Add about one large handful of fresh spinach for each half pepper you have, saute briefly, just long enough to slightly wilt the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a large platter and drizzle with good balsamic vinegar. Place the stuffed peppers on top. Enjoy!

* If you have leftover stuffing, use for dinner later in the week by making a pasta sauce out of it. Simply warm up in a pan with olive oil and add a couple ladles of well salted pasta water before straining your pasta. *

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a simple fig appetizer

Figs are in season. YUM! Figs are delicious and so good for you. I also love that they happen to be totally beautiful, both inside and out. Lately I have taken to keeping frozen puff pastry on hand (store bought) which makes putting together a quick galette hors d’oeuvres no problem. This is what I’ve been doing with the figs. It’s simple to make and quite yummy (and very pretty if I do say).

Fig and Goat Cheese Galette

1 store bought puff pastry
6 ripe figs
10 0z goat cheese
fresh thyme
1 small onion
2 tbs Grand Marnier
.5 tsp garam masala mix
butter
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375. Take the puff pastry out of the freezer and follow directions for thawing. While the pastry is thawing, thinly slice the onion and put it in a pan to caramelize with a bit of butter. Meanwhile, put the goat cheese in a bowl. Add Grand Marnier, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and the Garam Masala. Mix together. Use a rolling pin to stretch out the thawed pastry just a bit. Put it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and use a fork to poke holes all around it. Put the goat cheese mixture in the middle and spread it out evenly with your fingers, leaving about an inch around the edges to fold over later. Slice the figs and lay the slices evenly over the goat cheese. Lay the caramelized onions around the whole thing. Fold over the edges gently and brush with egg white. Put in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the figs get a nice color to them, and the pastry is golden around the edges. You can remove mid way and brush with more egg white if you’d like. Let cool and add sprigs of fresh thyme. Slice into wedges before serving (this is extra easy if you use a pizza cutter).

farm fresh

My apologies for not posting sooner.  Believe it or not, this is the first time I have had access to internet in a while.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday! We spent it with family, celebrating Bret’s 40th birthday and of course all of the typical July 4th festivities. Being in Olympia has been fantastic. We love coming here. One of the things I love the most about Olympia is the Olympia Farmers Market. We always do our best to make it there, get some seasonal goodies, and make something delicious from them. This time it was apricots! They were everywhere and they were perfect. So, I decided to make an apricot galette and serve it with blue cheese, also from the market.

Apricot Galette

6 fresh apricots
sugar
frozen puff pastry

Cut in half and pit the apricots. Slice into thin strips, about a half an inch each. Use about a half of one apricot to cook down into a sauce. I just threw them in a small pot, added a few splashes of water and a little sugar, and let cook down until it was essentially a sauce. Take out the puff pastry and let thaw for about a half hour. Open it up and place it in the middle of a buttered cookie sheet. Use a pastry brush to paint on some of the apricot sauce. Layer the apricots so they look lovely, and brush on some more of the sauce. Sprinkle with sugar. Put in a pre-heated oven and cook at 425 degrees for about a half hour. Take out when the pastry is browned and beautiful.

This galette was quite tart and I thought it was delicious with the mild blue cheese (Chehalis Blue) we bought at the market, from Twin Oaks Dairy, a local dairy vendor at the market. The cheese was creamy and had a lovely mild flavor.  You can also serve with vanilla ice cream, depending on if you want a sweet or savory dessert.

father’s day muffins

My father in law makes some pretty fantastic blueberry muffins. They have become an occasional Sunday morning treat in our house, aptly referred to as Dad’s Muffins, by my husband, Bret, who is always the one whipping them up. In light of today being father’s day, I thought it would be appropriate to share this yummy recipe as Bret was baking some this morning. Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there! I know my love of good food and my ability to cook fish correctly, has everything to do with my dad. Thanks, Dad. Now go make some muffins!

Dad’s Muffins

1 cup flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/4 to 2/3 cup of sugar (depending on if you like it a little sweeter or not)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1/2 cup apple sauce (can substitute scant 1/3 cup veg oil if you don’t have apple sauce)
2 cups + a little frozen blueberries
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs sugar

In a bowl, mix together flour, flax seed, oat bran, wheat bran, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together water, egg and applesauce.
Pour mixture over dry ingredients, stir to moisten, do not over mix.
Add blueberries.
In a separate small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar to taste.
Grease muffin pan and divide mixture among pan, makes 9 muffins.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Enjoy warm with or without butter.