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Something From Nothing - Week 6

Dear Husband knows me best. To include the fact that although we have what we need in life...e.g., food, clothing, and a home...cookbooks come a close fourth with me. My need to collect cookbooks probably stems from the time when there was no Internet, and the printed word was all one had to refer to.  In a totally ego-centric way, however, I think I need this blog MORE than the cookbooks...to preserve for my children what their Mom was/is all about! Long story longer....for the Holidays this year....and since I'm not fond of chaining oneself to any organized religious affiliation...I'm calling it:  "Christma-cha-kwanzicah" (Festivus fans take note) I received a COOKBOOK from Dear Husband for above-mentioned holiday.  As it happened..I was defrosting a couple of hot Italian sausages for reasons unknown at the time...(insert joke here). Really, though...I thought I'd make my spaghetti sauce or something...but here are the lonely sausages...uncased, and awaiting their fate...
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Looks rather gross, actually...but then I remembered that I had just purchased some of THESE....in a mid-winter, mis-guided Chile rellenos kinda way...some beautiful Anaheim chilis...


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The answer was clear....a recipe in the cookbook given to me that was an Italian-inspired stuffed pepper...first, we roll those beautiful chilis in extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt...
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I roasted them until tender...then assembled the ingredients for the dish....remember, you are all about your mise 'en place....short for "getting your )(&*%$ together" before you cook...
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Here we have..(clockwise from bottom right) the roasted and cooled peppers, 2 Tb. garlic, 2 Tb. finely chopped red onion, 2 Tb. chopped walnuts,  2 Tb. grated fresh Parmesan cheese, 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, 1/4 cup milk, olive oil, tomato sauce, an egg, chicken granules, salt, pepper, and some fresh spinach...
Although the recipe did not call for garlic....I TOTALLY knew that if you are going to make an "Italian stuffed pepper" recipe....garlic would, and quite frankly should be required...by law.  So a quick saute' of the fresh spinach...with garlic and olive oil...was required...
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Ninety seconds later...
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Turn off the heat...and set it aside...you may not think so, but that little bit of filling just became an integral part of the dish...


I skinned the newly roasted peppers, and laid them in an olive-oil coated baking dish..like so..

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Then proceeded to add the chopped up white bread, egg, milk, and Parmesan into the mixing bowl..


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The recipe said to mix this into a "paste"...introducing you, the reader...to the "paste"...
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Yeah, I hear you...not pretty. But, being intrepid chefs...we press on...
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Adding the sausage, the sauteed, chopped spinach, the chopped onion and walnuts....and then we mix...
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The recipe called for stuffing the peppers and then frying them, filling-side-down..in some oil. Now, I don't know about you, but that part was just asking for disaster, doom, and spilled filling everywhere...so I filled the peppers in the baking dish...


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 I then baked them for about 40 minutes in a 375-degree oven..until the sausage was crispy brown on top....in the meantime..per recipe, I simmered some tomato sauce and chicken stock and water...
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It just did not seem "Italian" enough to me...so before service, I added dried oregano, garlic powder, and dried basil...The results?
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And...
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Let's put it this way..when Dear Husband asked if there would be any "leftovers" from this dish...the answer was a resounding "no". If only because we kept going back to munch on it all night...
Eat well my friends, I will try to find the copy of this recipe and post it...and we have the 2-year Anniversary of the blog coming up.....and you know what that means, right? That's right....something I want to make for MEEEEEEE! Ya gotta take care of number one, right? Love and kindness to all,
Pixie