Wednesday, 6 May 2009

No Rules Stuffed Peppers and the science of Capsicum

When I was in Secondary school, in The Victoria Institution, I did Agricultural Science for 3 years. This involved studying about flora, fauna, vegetables, farm animals and even actually planting vegetables and rearing chickens. All very interesting really!

It was here that I learnt that the scientific name for black pepper is Piper Nigrum and that it comes from the Piperaceae family. Black Pepper is actually the dried fruit which is then known as a peppercorn. White pepper is the same fruit but with its skin removed.

Pepper has nothing to do with the vegetable known as Pepper. See how confusing it can get? That is why I always refer to the vegetable as Capsicum although really, a Capsicum is actually a fruit... just like a tomato is really a fruit. But lets not confuse ourselves further.

The capsicum, comes from the family Solanaceae and is known by various names all over the world. The Chilli is a form of a capsicum as it comes from the same family although what we refer to as capsicums are no where as hot as chillis.

So much for the quick lesson on Agricultural Science. On to the cooking!
I've always liked stuffed peppers and the beauty about stuffing peppers, or for that matter any type of vegetable, is that you can use anything you like. No fixed rules and no fixed ingredients.

No fixed Ingredients but this is what I did!
capsicum of various colours - each colour gives a slightly different taste. I used red and yellow
Pine Nuts
Bread Crumbs - i usually make my own breadcrumbs by whizzing bread slices in a food processor

Slice the Salami into strips and fry. Set aside
Quarter the capsicum, removing the seeds
Fry breadcrumbs in a little oil until crisp then add in the pine nuts till lightly toasted. Season with salt and pepper
Rub some olive oil over and inside the capsicums. Place in a baking tray.
Stuff the quartered capsicum with the salami, breadcrumbs and pinenuts. Bake in a preheated 190C oven for about 20-30 minutes or till the capsicum is tender. I like mine a little firm and not too tender.

A very versatile dish that makes quite a stunning appetiser. I also like to stuff the capsicum with minced beef, chicken. There's just so much stuff to stuff with!!


kat said...

I thought you were going to say you did Home Economics... :D

Ms. Kong Piang: said...

I liked the stuff peppers very much but of course my memory needs to be refreshed (hint hint).

Bellini Valli said...

Stuffed peppers are a favourite Dharm. My daughter took Agricultural Sciences as a requirement for the Dietetics Program at university as well.

glamah16 said...

I just posted on stuffed veggies. Love thwem and they always make an attractive presentation.


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