Spanish Style Stuffed Peppers with Chorizo & Cous Cous
I can claim this one as a made-from-scratch, 100% Em’s Food brain inspired recipe. I put a fair bit of thought into the dish as I really wanted it to carry those gorgeous Spanish flavours of Chorizo and Smoked Paprika. It was super simple to make as Cous Cous is ready in five minutes and I used my trusty Nutri-Ninja to whizz up the sauce so that all I had to do was reduce it slightly and cook off the red wine that it was laced with. These were really good!
For this recipe I used the little sweet baby peppers that are available at both Coles and Woolworths. The reason being is that I wanted to use yellow capsicum as I find them sweeter than red or green and the colour is so awesome but they were unavailable. If you can’t get the mini variety, by all means use any type of capsicum. They will taste equally divine and probably be quite significantly cheaper. It just so happened that the mini peppers were on sale that day too…….Wooohoooo! Winner!!
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking Time: 45 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
4 packets of tri coloured Mini Peppers or 4 large Capsicums
1 cup of wholegrain cous cous (normal is fine)
1 cup of boiling water
Sea salt & Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
2 Chorizo sausages, diced
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
8 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stalks discarded
1 cup of frozen baby peas
2 tbs of chopped fresh parsley
100gm of Fetta, crumbled
Baby watercress or chopped parsley for garnish
For the Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1 tbs of red wine vinegar
1 cup of red wine
2 x 400gm tin of diced tomatoes
1 tsp of sugar
Sea salt & pepper
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. To prepare the capsicums, slice the top off and run your knife tip around the interior of the capsicum and then use your fingers to pull out the seeds and veins. If the bottom of the capsicum is uneven and won’t sit straight, just slice a little off the bottom to even them up. If you happen to slice a little too much off and there is a hole in the bottom, don’t panic as they will be sitting in the sauce. If you are using large capsicums, place them in a lined baking tray and drizzle the inside with a little olive oil. Bake them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes to soften slightly. I found the baby ones did not need any pre cooking and I like a little crunch anyway. Allow to cool slightly before stuffing.
Place the cous cous in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pour the boiling water over the top. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 5 minutes. When all of the liquid is absorbed, fluff the cous cous with a fork and set aside.
Place the garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, red wine vinegar, red wine and tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper and whizz until you have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Heat a frypan until nice and hot and add the chorizo. Fry until it has rendered out the oils and is nice and golden and then add the onion and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until the onion has softened and then add the thyme leaves, smoked paprika and chilli flakes. Fry for a further 60 seconds or so and then add the lemon juice and rind. Once the lemon juice has evaporated, add the baby peas and fry until they have just defrosted and are nice and green in colour. Add the mixture to the cous cous along with the chopped parsley and mix well to combine.
In the same pan that you cooked the chorizo in, add the tomato sauce. Bring it to a simmer and allow it to reduce for about 5-7 minutes until nice and thickened. This will also get rid of the raw wine flavour.
I used individual ramekins for this dish but by all means use a large casserole if that is all you have. Pour the sauce into the bottom of the ramekins or casserole. Use a spoon to divide the Chorizo mixture between the peppers, patting the mixture down with the back of the spoon so they are nice and tightly stuffed. Place enough mixture in so that it is piled nice and high on top before carefully nestling them in the sauce. Sprinkle over the feta cheese and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the tops and fetta are nice and golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the baby cress or chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with a nice green salad.