Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sisters make scrumptious Spanish

My lovely golden haired sister is like me in so many ways but is also so very different. We decided to cook two very different dishes, that are both spanish and therefore similar, but different in texture, taste and colour. The best thing about them is that they compliment each other beautifully.

Spanish Stuffed Peppers with Aubergine Rolls
Peppers inspired by a Spanish Tapas restuarant in Glebe:, and Aubergine Rolls inspired by the following recipe: By Julie Melrose and Rachel Melrose.
Stuffed Peppers:
Two red peppers with four knobs on bottom so they stand up
1 can of cannelini beans
1 cup couscous
1 brown onion chopped finely
1 very ripe small truss tomato chopped finely
2 sticks celery sliced finely
1 small carrot chopped finely
Cumin seeds
Coriander seeds
5 Saffron threads (or 1/2 tsp powder)
Salt and cracked black pepper

Tomato Salsa:
4 very ripe truss tomatoes
2 cloves Australian garlic
2 handfuls fresh basil
1 roasted dried red jalapeno pepper
Salt and cracked black pepper
Olive Oil

Aubergine Rolls:
1 large Aubergine sliced lengthways
100g feta cheese
100g Ricotta cheese
Toasted pine nuts
1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Cracked black pepper
Olive Oil

1 carrot
1 zucchini
Fresh lettuce

Stuffed Peppers

1. Prepare couscous by boiling water in pan and adding couscous, stir for 3min, then cover and set aside to absorb.

2. Prepare brown rice by washing rice and then bringing to boil under water twice the depth of the rice. After 10mins of boiling, add saffron, cover and set aside to complete the absorption method.

3. Heat olive oil and then saute onion.

4. Add celery, carrot, cumin and coriander seeds. Cook for 10 mins on medium heat till soft (approx 10-15min)

5. Add chopped tomato and cannelini beans. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.

6. Use a fork to separate and 'fluff up' the couscous. Combine couscous with the mixture. Also combine brown rice with the mixture.

7. Cut tops off peppers and set aside. Remove seeds and wash. Blanch and then spoon in the white bean, rice and couscous mixture.

8. Put on tray in 180ÂșC oven with thickly sliced sides of zucchini and carrot. Roast until peppers start to char.

Tomato Salsa
1. Heat olive oil in saucepan and fry chopped truss tomatoes until they turn a yellow-caramel colour on the frying side. Add garlic and chopped jalapeno and cook for 3min. Roughly chop tomato with wooden spoon while cooking, and add some hot water to allow a sauce. Simmer until Peppers and Aubergines are done. Add fresh chopped basil at last minute.

Aubergine Rolls

1. Scatter salt on eggplant slices and set aside to extract bitter juices.
2. Toast pine nuts in a sandwish toaster or oven grill with chopped garlic.

3. Place eggplant slices in oven under grill to brown with some olive oil

4. In a large bowl mix ricotta, feta, toasted pine nuts, garlic, parsley and cracked black pepper

6. Spoon into Aubergine slices and roll up. Pin together with a toothpick. Put back in oven for 10mins.

To Serve:
Place Salsa on plate, then Stuffed Pepper on top. Surround with Aubergine Rolls and roasted vegetable sides. Garnish with fresh basil and lettuce.

All parts of this overall dish will come together best with a sister or friend at your side. It is a lovely assemblage of two different recipes being prepared simultaneously to create a lovely textured spanish meal.

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