for all your wonderful submissions to the 'Make Your Wish' Emile Henry Giveaway, June 2010
the Emile Henry goes to .....(drum roll please)
Emile Henry Flame Top Brazier, 3.4qt, Azur
Yia Yia’s Yemista (Stuffed Peppers/Tomatoes)
If I won this competition, I would like the Emile Henry Azur Brazier #534593 and in it I would make my Grandmother’s stuffed pepper and tomatoes. I had a similar dish within which I used to make this dish, but unfortunately I broke it :(
The recipe follows and the funny story that goes along with it, is below.
Yia Yia’s Yemista (Stuffed Peppers/Tomatoes)
6 medium to large tomatoes (I say medium to large because some veggies have become gargantuan lately- just buy ones that are large enough to stuff, but not so large that they do not fit in the casserole dish/roaster)(buy four tomatoes you will stuff, and two that are extra ripe that will become the sauce)
4 medium to large green peppers (you can also use round or oblong summer squash)
1 cup of long grain rice
1 lb ground lean beef or turkey meat
1 small red onion chopped
2.5 Tbs chopped parsley
1.5 Tbs finely chopped mint (Note: do not use peppermint, the other kind)(you can also use dry, mint but use half the portion)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)(this is my addition, but my Grandmother said others in Greece use them too)
1 Tbs sugar
¾ Cup olive oil
¼ Cup white wine (optional)
Cut the tops off the peppers and slice out the core. Turn 4 of the tomatoes upside down and using a very sharp knife cut a circular hole, about 2 inches in diameter, in the top of the tomato (see link on how to do this ?????). Carefully scoop out the inside of the tomatoes with a small spoon and reserve. Place the tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish and in each tomato, sprinkle ¼ of Tbs of sugar in the interior. This helps if the tomatoes are not super sweet.
Grate the remaining two tomatoes on the large part of a box grater. My grandmother uses this technique when making any tomato base. When feeling lazy I have also been known to pulse them in a food processor or my Vitamix. Add the cores of the tomatoes that you previously removed to the mixture. Chop any pieces that seem too large, i.e. over an inch.
In a medium sauté pan, heat ¼ cup olive oil and add the onions, sauté until softened and then add the rice. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, then add the mint, parsley, black pepper and about 1 Tbs of kosher salt. If using white wine, add a splash and stir. Then add one cup of water, bring to a bowl, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid and cook until the water is absorbed. The point is that you are only half cooking the rice because it will absorb additional moisture from the vegetables.
In a medium sauté pan brown the meat, drain any fat, salt and pepper to taste.
Toast the pine nuts in a smaller pan, stirring frequently since they burn quickly! You can use the same pan you use for the meat, just rinse it before you brown the meat.
When the rice is done, add the meat, pine nuts and combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning and get ready to stuff! Using a small spoon evenly stuff the peppers and tomatoes. Do not overfill or push down the mixture since if you do, they will not cook properly.
Place the tops of the vegetables back on and then pour the tomato puree over them. Add about ½ cup of water evenly throughout the pan. Add a generous amount of olive oil over the vegetables and salt and pepper.
Cook for at least an hour in a 375 degree oven, basting with the juices about every 20 minutes. They will be done when they have burned a little on the tops. Turn the peppers half way through if you placed them at an angle in the pan. I also rotate the entire dish half way through cooking so they brown evenly. If they are browning too quickly and the filling and the rice is not fully cooked yet, add a little extra water and cover with aluminum foil.
Serve with warm crusty bread, feta cheese and olives. Trust me . . . they are good!!!
My funny story is as follows
When I was young I used to spend summers in Greece with my Greek Grandmother, where I learned many Greek recipes and techniques. I loved her stuffed peppers/tomatoes so much that when I came home to the US I decided to host a dinner party for my Mother and American Grandmother. I was about 10 years old and made everyone dress formally, and I even set the table with my Grandmother’s silver that was reserved for holidays and special occasions. You can imagine my frustration when the food wasn’t browning properly. I got so that I kicked up the oven temperature to about 500 degrees to finish them off. I finally got the color I wanted and they were ready to serve! Well, you can imagine my dismay when I cut into my perfectly caramelized pepper only to find out that the interior was raw. It appears that when my Greek Grandmother told me to cook them at 200 degrees she meant Celsius, not Fahrenheit!
Thank you for your consideration, it is very typical that I would post this at the last minute ☺ Hope you try the recipe either way, because it is delicious and even better the next day! Vegetarian/vegan if you leave out the meat too!!!
Kat a.k.a. the Food Advokat
I hope you enjoy your new Emile Henry Cookware. Here are a few facts you may not have known:
For one, they're a family owned business that has been around since 1850 and started in a small town in the province of Burgundy, France.
The company to date
manufactures all of
their new cooking products from Burgundy clay.
clay evenly and slowly diffuses cooking heat to the very
center of the cooking dish.
- Emile Henry products do not chip or crack easily. One can cut directly on the surface without scratching or damaging the product.
- There is
no lead or cadmium and all of the products are 100% food safe.
- All Emile Henry products are direct freezer-to-oven. They go under the broiler and in the microwave.
- All Emile Henry products can go in the dishwasher.
- All Emile Henry products carry a limited household three (3) year warranty against breakage due to defective workmanship.