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peppers with orzo
Stuffed Peppers with Sausage and Orzo

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 20, 2013: Day 6 Recipes

Stuffed Peppers, with Sausage and Orzo

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     Stuffed peppers can, and should, be so much better than the institutional fare some of us are familiar with.  You can buy bulk sausage meat or link sausages and remove the meat from the casing - whatever is available and looks good. 

Stuffed Peppers, with Sausage and Orzo           Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes
   Sausage lends a different flavor than the traditional ground beef, and orzo a different texture.

6oz (180gr) sausage
1 medium onion
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup orzo
15oz (450gr) tomato sauce
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) beef stock
1/3 cup green, pimento-stuffed olives
2 nicely shaped bell peppers 
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese

Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil.  Cut peppers in half the long way (try to find the best flat sides before cutting so that they will lay nicely) and remove stem end and seeds. When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish that will just hold them (if possible). 
Keep water boiling and add orzo, cook according to package directions (usually 8 - 10 minutes) except drain when still al dente - about 1 minute less then minimum time. Drain in a strainer if your colander has big holes.
Roughly chop olives. Finely chop onion, celery and garlic.  In nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.   Add paprika, cumin, and sauté 1 minute.  Add garlic, celery and onion and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes.  Add sausage and sauté until cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. 
Add tomato sauce, stock, olives and orzo.  Stir will to combine.
Spoon mixture into the pepper halves.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C).  Remove foil and top with cheese.  Bake, uncovered for another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.
Note: If all the stuffing doesn't fit into the peppers, keep warm over very low heat while peppers bake. 
To serve, spoon the extra sausage / orzo onto plates, and top with peppers.

Cooking schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large pot for peppers and pasta, strainer, large skillet,
baking dish, foil
Turn oven on, 400C (200F)
Put water on high heat for peppers
Cut, trim peppers
Chop onion, celery
Mince garlic
Chop olives
Shred cheese if needed
Sauté paprika, cumin

Add garlic, celery, onion, sauté
Blanch peppers, 5 min
Remove peppers (keep water boiling)
Add orzo to water, cook
Add sausage to onion, brown, break up
Add tomato sauce, stock, olives
Drain orzo, add to skillet, stir
Spoon filling into peppers, cover, bake
   Pause while stuff cooks - 15 minutes
Remove peppers, uncover, top with cheese, bake
Reheat leftover filling
Remove peppers, plate and Serve

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