Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chicken + Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (plus bonus drink recipe!)

In college, I had terrible luck with my first and only roommate. She was super nice, don't get me wrong! And clean. And quiet. But she also went home every weekend, had one specific friend, and was never around. I had high hopes of gaining a new best friend when I moved in. Little did I know the real world had much more to offer me. Though my first roommate wasn't any trouble, she wasn't my best friend. And I needed some of those. 

Luckily I met Maia! She lived right next door and introduced me to more girls on our floor. Though we got really busy and did not spend as much time together as we hoped, our friendship has stayed strong. After graduating with her masters in nutrition, Maia and I have been dying to hang out more. It wasn't until last week that we ran into each other at a wedding for our mutual friends that we made firm plans. 

Stuffed Peppers. Next weekend. Bring the wine. 

Oh my, what luck! I had almost forgotten how much fun she is to hang out with. (NOT!) She lives on an old military base on an island with great light. And has a knack for going off recipe when she cooks. You heard me right (Curtiss!). While we cooked in her kitchen, I also made new friends: her master-bartender roommate, John and her well-storied boyfriend Curtiss. 

I had a blast cooking with Maia, and to bless our efforts John made us a unique cocktail. So from our kitchen to yours, with a bonus recipe at the end.......

Here's our Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
(with help from Food52 + Maia's twists...and one idea of my own).

  • 5 peppers, tops cut off and insides cleaned out
  • 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil (regular olive oil would work well too)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 pound chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Dash of paprika 
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Rose wine.... that was my idea

  • Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F
  • Heat 1/2 TB Avocado Oil in a Sauté Pan on a medium. Wait a minute. Then, add the onion, the mushrooms, and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. And hey, if you don't like mushrooms, you can leave them out. But they are pretty darn good in it!
  • Next add in the chicken and put in all the seasonings (pepper, salt, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and anything else you think would be good.)
  • Stir every so often and cook until the chicken is done. No pink!! Just pale. Once the chicken looks almost cooked, add in a 1/2 cup of your wine (Rose or White will do). Let it cook a little more (1-2 minutes).
  • Then add in the shredded carrots (use a cheese grater) and tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes more.
  • Turn off the heat and add in the parmesan cheese and quinoa.
  • Make sure you have gutted your peppers and that they are ready to stuff. Are they stuffable? Okay, take your mixture and stuff them!
  • Get them into a baking pan that will keep these peppers standing upright. Maia and I used a couple of small loaf pans that worked well. Cover them with foil and bake for 20 minutes. 
  • After 20 minutes, take the foil off, turn the oven to broil, and cook for 5 minutes more. You want to crisp the top!
  • To eat, get a sharp knife and cut the pepper in half. Everything stays together pretty well after that... and enjoy!

With this lovely cocktail...

John Archibald's Mercer Island Sunset

note: yields two drinks
  • 2 shots whiskey
  • 1 shot sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 shot cointreau 
  • Dash Regan's Orange Bitters
  • Dash Arch's Orange Bitters**
  • Garnish with raspberries or cherries
**Arch's Orange Bitters were made in-house by John Archibald himself. We will have to contact him later to see if he will let us in on that recipe. Any orange bitters will do, maybe....

Per usual my friends, eat well! Be well! And subscribe in the "subscribe by email" box below to never miss a beat!

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