The sections below were copied with permission from Mi Ae Lipe’s Tastes from the Valley to Bluff: The Featherstone Farm Cookbook (2008).
Store peppers unwashed in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper, where they will keep for a few days.
Complementary Herbs, Seasonings, & Foods
Anchovies, basil, cheese, chiles, coriander, corn, crab, eggplant, fish, garlic, lemon, lobster, meat, olive oil, onions, peppers, potatoes, rice, tomatoes, vinegar.
• Thinly slice fresh bell peppers into rings or strips and serve with a favorite dressing as a dip. Kids love bell peppers like this, especially the sweeter orange and red ones.
• Grill bell peppers that have been marinated in olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
• Add chunks of bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes to shish kebobs.
• Combine bell peppers with other vegetables for tasty, colorful, stir-fries: broccoli, onions, greens, mushrooms, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots.
• Bell peppers are wonderful stewed or cooked in sauces, paired with veal or savory pork sausage.
• That old classic, stuffed peppers, can be livened up from its traditional ground beef and rice filling with different ingredients, like cooked cracked wheat berries, sliced jalapenos, barbecued chicken, honey-laced ahi (raw tuna), sushi rice, sweet onions, eggplant, breadcrumbs, deep-fried parsley sprigs, miniature meatballs...
• Thinly slice bell peppers and add them to sandwiches as substitutes for lettuce. (Great with onions and cucumbers!)
• For a crunchy texture and distinctive flavor, add finely chopped bell peppers to tuna, ham, chicken, or egg salad.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (serves 8)
4 red or green bell peppers
1 pint or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 cup fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Lightly oil a large shallow baking pan. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove their seeds. Arrange the peppers, cut sides up, in a baking pan, and lightly oil the cut edges of the stems.
3. Halve the cherry tomatoes, and chop onion and basil. Finely chop the garlic.
4. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Divide the mixture among the peppers and roast in the upper rack of the oven until the peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.
Credit: Fruits and Veggies--More Matters; Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Summer Saute with Pasta
Bring pasta water to a boil and cook the pasta while you are working on the vegetables.
Saute the following in olive oil: onion or garlic; summer squash, cut into little sticks (batons if you want to be swanky); sweet bell pepper (diced or sliced); corn kernels. Stir in a spoonful or two of pesto if you have it or else just add a generous handful of sliced basil. Cover for a few minutes until all vegetables are soft. Add a little pasta cooking water if too dry. Serve over cooked pasta (linguine is nice).
Credit: Cook Out of the Box 2010 - Week 12
Do not wash peppers until you are just about to use them. Store them in the refrigerator vegetable crisper in a perforated plastic bag, where they will keep for up to 1 to 2 weeks.
Complementary Herbs, Seasonings, & Foods
Bananas, beans, cheese, chutney, cilantro, corn, crab, cream, eggplant, fish, fruit, garlic, ginger, ketchup, lime, lobster, onions, peppers, pineapple, potatoes, rice, tomatoes, yogurt.
• Make salsa!
• Preserve hot peppers in vinegar or oil for a spicy seasoning that is handy for sprinkling over cooked dishes or in dressings. To make pepper vinegar, put enough fresh, sliced hot peppers in a sterilized Mason-type jar to ill it about a quarter- to half-full. Then add enough white vinegar to fill the jar, add a little salt and powdered cayenne if desired, and seal. Let the vinegar stand for several weeks; it will keep for up to 6 months.
• For an eye-opening tossed salad, add a few very thinly sliced hot pepper rings and finely shredded or slivered fresh ginger.
• Add a teaspoon of finely chopped chiles to your favorite cornbread recipe.
• Add jalapenos or serranos to soup, stews, casseroles, omelets, and stire fries.
• Combine hot peppers with garlic, olive oil, coriander, cumin, peppermint, and other herbs and spices to make harissa, a Tunisian hot pepper paste that is commonly used in North African cuisines.
• Add a little chopped hot pepper to yogurt- or sour cream-based dips.
• Use hot peppers in Southeast Asian, Szechuan and Hunan Chinese, Korean, and Latin American dishes.
Roasted Chiles in Sauce with Pine Nuts and Cream (serves 2)
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
2 hot yellow banana peppers
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons pesto, or chopped fresh basil with 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white flour
1/2 pint (or more) half-and-half
1. Clean the peppers and remove the seeds. Slice them into slivers 1&1/2 to 2 inches long. Spray a nonstick skillet with a squirt or nonstick cooking spray, and roast the peppers over high heat. They will not be soft, but should have some dark brown spots.
2. Remove the peppers and then roast the pine nuts in the same pan for 1 or 2 minutes.
3. Mix the peppers back in the skillet with the pine nuts and the olive oil. Add the cilantro, pesto, and flour. Stir for a minute; the mixture will start to thicken. Lower the heat.
4. Stir in enough half-and-half until it thins the sauce to the desired consistency.
Credit: Greg Smith, The Bluff Country Co-op Cookbook
Homemade Barbeque Sauce
This recipe is from Country Tastes - Best Recipes from America's Kitchens by Beatrice Ojakangas.
This sauce would be good combined with ground beef or pork for sloppy joes or served with pulled pork or cooked chicken. If you want, you could vary this recipe by adding hot or sweet peppers.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter (or oil), 1 cup finely chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 cup tomato ketchup, 1/2 cup dry sherry, 1 T. light brown sugar, 1 t. mustard powder, 1 T. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 t. Worcestershire sauce, 1/3 cup water.
Saute onion and garlic in butter until onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer one hour - stir occasionally and watch to prevent scorching. If a puree is desired, put finished and cooled sauce into a food processor and process until smooth.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 5
Black Bean Tortilla "Pizza"
Ingredients: One or two corn or flour tortillas per person, depending on size, black bean puree (see below for recipe), shredded or crumbled mild Mexican type cheese or co-jack, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh peppers, onions or tomatoes if you have some, fresh romaine leaves, sliced in thin strips, wedges of fresh lime.
You don't need me to tell you this - but the black bean puree would make a good dip, too. Even sandwich filling with some lettuce, onion and extra fresh cilantro.
Spread black bean puree on a tortilla, sprinkle on shredded cheese and some chopped onions, peppers or tomatoes. You could even add some chopped olives. Bake on a baking sheet about ten minutes at 400 degrees - or until tortillas are crisp and cheese is melted. Serve topped with lettuce (or finely shredded cabbage) and chopped fresh cilantro. Squeeze on a little fresh lime juice.
Black Bean Puree
Ingredients: 3 cups cooked black beans, 1 cup chopped onion, 2 t. minced garlic, 3 T. fresh lime juice, 2 t. cumin seed (crushed a little with a mortar and pestle or improvise if you don't have a M & P, chopped jalapeno or other hot pepper to taste, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 T. oil.
Saute onion, garlic, hot pepper and cumin seed in oil until onion is soft. Combine with beans, lime juice and cilantro and process in a food processor until smooth. If you don't have a food processor you could just mash everything together with a potato masher. The end result will not be as smooth but will taste just fine.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 4
Ratatouille (serves 8)
Serve hot or at room temperature. Use as a side dish or serve over pasta or polenta with grated parmesan or asiago or similar cheese for a main course.
For best flavor use fresh garden vegetables. Make a double or triple batch – this freezes beautifully. Saute 2 cups of chopped onion and 4 cloves of minced FRESH garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil about 5 minutes over medium heat. Then add about 3 cups EACH of eggplant, zucchini squash and bell peppers and 4 cups fresh tomatoes – cut into approximately 1/2 inch cubes or pieces. Season with 1 1/2 t. salt, fresh ground pepper and about 1/2 c. chopped fresh herbs ( a combination of basil, thyme, oregano, parsley and rosemary is nice if you have these. Often I use just fresh basil and parsley.) Simmer covered until all vegetables are tender, about one hour. Stir occasionally while simmering. Even better the next day. A few Mediterranean olives on the side would be a great idea, too.
Credit: Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Ratatouille
2010 Harvest Festival Raspberry Salsa
Thanks to Letitia (Tish) Kopperud for assisting me with this project.
This dish could be served with corn chips for dipping. It could be served as a side dish with any Mexican type food. It would even be good as a side salad with a simple turkey or grilled cheese sandwich or hamburger.
4 c. watermelon, cubed (1/2 inch is nice size)
3 pint cartons of fresh Featherstone Farm raspberries
2 c. chopped fresh tomatillos
1 c. chopped red sweet pepper
1 c. chopped onion (sweet if possible)
2 T. minced fresh garlic
2 - 3 T. minced fresh serrano peppers (jalapeno would work too.)
1-2 T. sugar
choice of: 3 cups chopped fresh cilantro or 1 cup chopped fresh basil
choice of: 3/4 cup rice vinegar or 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
(NOTE - we thought rice vinegar went well with the cilantro and that red wine vinegar would be best with the basil. For either approach, you could also substitute some lime juice for some of the vinegar.)
Credit: Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Chili
You may notice that there is a relatively high vegetable to meat ratio in this recipe. I think it is still quite meaty. Editorial comment: I love meat - especially meat raised on grass in Fillmore County. But we would do our bodies and the planet a favor if we all consumed more vegetables and less meat. This recipe makes quite a bit. This freezes well.
2 pounds ground beef (We have switched totally to beef raised in SE Minnesota on grass. If you can find pastured beef, I encourage you to try it. More on this big topic another day.)
1 pound dry beans (will yield about 6 cups cooked) or 6 cups canned beans - about 3 typical sized cans. Kidney beans are traditional, but black beans or pinto beans work fine too. You could even mix types of beans.
2 quarts whole or crushed tomatoes (Home canned are best. Store cans are fine too. Typical store cans are about 28 ounces, 4 ounces less than a quart.)
2 cups chopped onions
1-2 cups chopped red or green bell peppers
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
optional - minced fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers. I never used to add fresh peppers to my chili, but I have become a fan of serrano chilis lately. If you are okay with extra heat, add about 3 serranos to this recipe. Or more if you really like chili heat.
4 T. chili powder (Add more to taste depending on who is going to eat this chili)
1 T. cumin seeds, crushed
1- 2 t. salt
2 t. cocoa, optional but adds a little depth to the flavor. Kind of like midwest mole.
1-2 T. olive or other cooking oil
Saute onions, garlic and peppers in oil about 10 minutes or until soft. Add meat and brown. Add chili powder, salt and cumin. Add tomatoes and beans. Simmer, partly covered, for about one hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve with some or all of the following garnishes: chopped onion, red or green salsa, shredded cheese, yogurt or sour cream, corn kernels, chopped olives, chopped fresh cilantro, wedges of lime -- you get the idea. My Mom used to serve chili on top of cooked macaroni and called it chili mac. We kids liked it. If you need to stretch dinner, this works.
Credit: Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Chili
Add the following to 2 cups of whole cranberry sauce: 1 T chopped fresh hot peppers, 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, 1 t. cumin, 1 T fresh lime juice, 1 clove minced fresh garlic, 1/2 cup chopped red onion
Credit: Cook out of the Box - Focus: Cranberries
Cook out of the Box - Hands On: Roasted Red Peppers
Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Salsa
Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Ratatouille
Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Panzanella Salad (Or is it fatuous?)
Cook out of the Box - Focus: Chile Peppers