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Stuffed Sweet Peppers With Rice and Currants

Stuffed Sweet Peppers With Rice and Currants
LAWRENCE K. HO / Los Angeles Times

On Rosh Hashana, the time-honored greeting, "Have a happy and sweet new year," is also the message of the menu. In selecting dishes, people are guided not by a prescribed practice but by a popular concept: Eat sweet foods and ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 55 minutes | Serves 6 or 7
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup currants or raisins
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth or water
  • 6 or 7 fairly small red, orange or yellow bell peppers (total about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or stew pan. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn golden, 15 minutes; reduce the heat if they brown too fast.

Step 3Add the rice and almonds and stir over low heat to toast them, 5 minutes. Add the currants, tomatoes, mint, allspice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste; cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, 12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning; the rice will not be cooked yet.

Step 4Cut a slice off the stem end of each pepper. Reserve the slice, leaving the stem on; carefully remove the core and seeds from inside the pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the peppers and cover with the reserved pepper slices. Stand the peppers in a baking dish in which they just fit. Add 1 1/2 cups hot water to the dish. Sprinkle the peppers with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Cover and bake until the peppers are tender, 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Note: Choose fairly flat-bottomed peppers that can stand up easily. The rice pilaf is prepared with less water than usual and cooked until partially done because it finishes cooking inside the peppers. If you'd like to prepare the pilaf as a side dish, use twice as much liquid as rice (1 1/2 cups) and cook the rice until it is just tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Served on its own, the pilaf makes three portions; you may want to double the recipe.


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