Friday, May 6, 2011

Stuffed capsicum with rice, mince and pine nuts

Stuffed capsicum with rice, mince and pine nuts - makes 8-12

8-12 red capsicums (depending how many you are cooking for)
500g lean beef mince
1cup cooked rice
1x 400g can of diced tomatoes
1T tomato paste
1/4c red wine (or 2T balsamic vinegar)
1 large onion, chopped finely
Handful of fresh dill, chopped
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2c pine nuts
2 potatoes, cut into wedges
Low fat feta or parmesan to serve
1/2c - 1c extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 200C.
In a heavy based pan, heat a little olive oil and cook onions until soft. Add pine nuts, cook for 1 minute then add mince and cook until brown.
Add 1/2 can tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir through.
Add rice, seasoning, dill and parsley. Combine and cook for 5 minutes then add red wine. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, wash capsicums and cut tops off to form lids.
Fill each capsicum with the rice mixture then sprinkle with a little parmesan or feta. Cover with the capsicum lids.
Place each capsicum upright into a baking tray and use potato wedges in between them for support.
Sprinkle capsicums and potatoes with salt and a little bit of oregano to the potatoes for flavour.
Combine remaining 1/2 can tomatoes with the oil and pour over the top of the capsicums in the ray. There is no need to add water as the capsicums and tomatoes will provide moisture while the capsicums are cooking.
Place capsicums into the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. Then lower the over temperature to 170C cover the capsicums with foil and cook a further 30 minutes until the rice is cooked.

When choosing capsicums look for small and round shapes which are easier to stand and fill.

This can be served as part of a main meal or as an entree (depending on the size of your capsicums). You could possibly also pre-make the mixture and cook once your guests arrive to save time.
Seasoning is imperative to this meal as are the fresh herbs.
You could add moroccan seasoning, chilli for spice if you desire (or even fresh chilllies) or maybe even a little bit of coriander and cumin.

Trial and error - my favourite way to cook! 

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