Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers

First, let's address the elephant in the room--- the blog name change.  The reason is,  my sister is always on me that I blog more food than CrossFit.  Which... is totally true.  So,  I still want the option to blog about weight lifting if I need to do so,  but I also want to focus more on my first love FOOD.  Barbells and Biscuits better encompasses what this blog is about.  And,  I want to branch more in critiquing restaurants and namely local sandwiches,  because sandwiches are my actual first love.

Anyway,  now that we are past that--- I hated stuffed peppers as a kid.  Did I ever tell you this before?  My dad made them when I was a kid and the mere thought of his offends me. I get it,  he had three kids that needed to be fed and they needed to be fed fast,  before they turned into Gremlins.  His version was ground meet stuffed into a hard green pepper and covered in sauce.  Baked until done and served hot to the wee ones who were led to believe the smell of tomato sauce in the oven was Pizza.   After that meal,  pizza was well deserved.

We all despised stuffed peppers,  even my mom.  I know she didn't say anything because she didn't want to upset the cook,  You see, my mother is a smart woman.  She knew who fed her,  and she never criticized the cook in fear of having her meal ticket cut off.  Now a days,  she doesn't care anymore so she says whatever she wants.  I suppose that's what happens when you get old.

The one trick I will impart to you about stuffed peppers,  is you must boil the peppers first to slightly soften them.  Otherwise no matter how long you cook them in the oven they will be hard and difficult to cut.

Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Prep: 10-15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

3-4 green peppers ( I used 3 because they were huge)
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 garlic cloves, diced
10 sun dried tomatoes,  diced
4 ounces buffalo mozzarella,  cut into chunks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
8-10 leaves fresh basil
1 28 ounce can diced tomato
1 cup freshly grated sharp provolone

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2.   Fill a large stock pot half way with water and bring to a boil.
3.  While the water is heating remove the lids from the green peppers and clean out most of the seeds from the inside.
4.  Drop peppers into the water and cover pot with a tight fitting lid for 10 minutes.
5.  Prepared all of the ingredients now by dicing the garlic,  sun dried tomatoes, julienne 6 of the fresh basil leaves, and chunking the mozzarella.
6. While the peppers are cooking mix the following in a large bowl:  turkey, brown rice, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, salt, black pepper, parsley, oregano, 6 fresh basil leaves, and 4 ounces of the diced tomatoes with juice.
7.  Mix well and set aside while you tend to the peppers.
8.  Drain the peppers into a strainer and run cold water over them so they can be easily handled.  
9.   In a large baking dish oil the bottom and add about 10 ounces of the diced tomatoes to the bottom of the dish.
10.  Begin stuffing your peppers,  and use the excess to make little mini meatballs for people like your mother who hate stuffed peppers.
11.  Top peppers with remaining diced tomatoes and then cover tops with shredded sharp provolone cheese.
12.  Throw in oven for 45 minutes until the top is bubbly and the turkey is cooked through in your one mini meatball.
13.  Serve with remaining basil as a garnish :).  Or do like me and cut the whole thing up to make a stuffed pepper bowl.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Smoked Paprika Crabcakes

I know,  I've been gone sometime.  It's been a hectic work year,  that I'd like to forget.  These fresh and yummy crab cakes helped me forget the misery that is my Monday through Friday existence.    I hope they can do the same for you.

The hint of spice mixed with the lemon makes these light and fresh crab cakes delicious.  You will be quickly transported to a beach side bar on the water in Maryland.  Mentally anyway. 

Disclaimer:  Eating one will not drop you off in Maryland.  You will still be at your likely shitty job doing shitty paperwork or listening to your wife tell you that you don't help enough.  I,  cannot help you with that.  But... wine and whiskey can. 

Smoked Paprika Crabcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-7

1 can Jumbo Lump Crabmeat  (NOT CLAW MEAT!!!)
1 large red pepper,  diced fine
1 small white one, diced fine
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp Mayonaise
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
The zest of 1 lemon
The juice of one lemon
1 Egg
1/4 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
Parsley for garnishing

1.  In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp of butter over medium low heat until melted.
2.  Add diced red pepper and diced white onion.
3. Season with salt and pepper,  stirring occasionally until softened.  About 6-7 minutes.
4.  While your vegetables are cooking down put the following in a large bowl (big enough for mixing with your hands):  crabmeat, panko bread crumbs,  egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, smoked paprika,  black pepper, salt, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard.
5.  When the vegetables are done cooking,  put them in the bowl as well.
6.  Mix this mixture VERY GENTLY as to not break up the crab meat.
7. Refrigerate this mixture covered with plastic wrap for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
8.  After refrigeration heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat and turn the oven to broil on low.
9.  Gently form 2-3 inch thick crab meat patties.  Drop into the oil.
10.  Allow to brown on the bottom for 5-7 minutes for each,  then move to a greased baking sheet.
11. Once all of the crabcakes are on baking sheet allow them to broil on low for 30 minutes, or until crispy brown on top.
12.  Garnish with parsley and enjoy :)