Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Home Made Tomatoe Sauce and Walking Vienna.



The first weeks back in Austria have been happy days visiting family and friends, going to concerts and exhibitions,but - oh boy - I didn't know that good things can be so exhausting :)
So this Sunday we decided for a break and stayed at home doing basically nothing at all, just as the song by Bruno Mars goes, "Today I don't feel like doing anything"
Heavenly!

Playing Strauss Waltzes in a small cafe in a beautiful passage in one of the old Palaces, the 
Palais Ferstl.

 Detail of the ceiling in the same Palace


Staircase at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts)


Visiting home is always like going back to your roots and remembering dishes you enjoyed in your childhood. 
It's funny, but whenever I talk to expats from different countries asking them what they missed most from home of course they always mention the family, friends, language, climate but another constant was invariably food.
The history of a country's cuisine is always a part of a country's cultural history.
The Danube monarchy had, at the height of it's power, about 52 million inhabitants and there were 16 different languages spoken.
Austrian cuisine is a mixture of as many different European cuisines as there were countries that integrated the Danube Monarchy.
Apart from the original regional cuisines there are influences from the Hungarian, Czech, Italian and Bohemian kitchen.
It's basically a fusion kitchen of different regions of the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, long before the word fusion was even invented.
The Turks who made two attempts to conquer Vienna, left the habit of drinking coffee, the Hungarians spiced up dishes with their delicious, hot Paprika and 
diligent Bohemian cooks, famous for their  skills enriched with their  wonderful desserts the  tables of Austrian aristocratic and bourgeois families.
The dish I would like to present to you today  is a classic of Austrian cuisine,
 "Gefuellte Paprika" or Stuffed Bell Pepper with a rich, home made tomato sauce.

This is what you need:

For the tomato sauce: 
1/2 kg red,ripe tomatoes
40g butter
40g flour
1/2l vegetable stock
1 spoonful tomato paste
1dried Bay leaf
1/2 to 1 spoonful brown sugar
Salt, freshley ground pepper
Method:
Clean tomatoes and put them for about 1 minute in boiling water, this will help to peel them easily.
After peeling quarter them and remove the seeds.

In a large pan melt the butter over medium heat until foaming. Add flour. 
Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes,stirring constantly. Slowly add the vegetable stock,whisking constantly until mixture is smooth. Then add the Bay leaf, quartered tomatoes and the tomato paste.
Let simmer at low heat about 20 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked down and will fall apart into the sauce.
Let cool down, then puree the ragout in the blender.
Strain the mixture through a colander, then stir in salt pepper and brown sugar.  



For the stuffed bell peppers.
You need:
4 medium size green and yellow bell peppers
400g minced meat (1/2 pork, 1/2 beef)
1 small chopped onion
3 spoonful of extra virgin olive oil
3 spoonful cooked round grain rice (or other)
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 spoonful of chopped parsely
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
salt and freshly ground pepper 
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan 
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
Method: 
Halve bell peppers  and remove stems, seeds and membranes.


Place peppers in a large pot, cover with salted water and bring to a boil.
Then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes.
In a large pan heat olive oil and saute onions with crushed garlic until slightly tender.

Add minced meat, marjoram and parsely,  mix well and cook until nearly done.

Mix with the cooked rice then stuff  peppers with the meat-rice mixture.
Apart, combine the Mozzarella and Parmesan.

Place stuffed peppers in a large baking dish.

Pour most of the tomato sauce in the baking dish and  save a bit  to pour over the stuffed peppers.
Bake at 350C for about 30 to 40 minutes, then top with cheese mixture and bake until cheese is melted. 

Serves 4.  Enjoy!
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See you next week.





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50 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures Daniela...I am glad that you had a great type.
    The stuffed peppers look great, this is the kind of meal that I really enjoy.
    Welcome back my dear and hope you are having a fabulous week :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ,Juliana for your kind words!
      I'm so glad to hear that you like this recipe.
      Have a great day!

      Delete
  2. Great pictures! And lovely recipe. Food memories are so strong in most of us, I think. I'm not sure if it's our geographic place we're remembering, or just our younger selves. Maybe both! But it's the rare person I've met who doesn't have some fond food memories. Good post - thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,
      I do completely agree about what you say about memories and specially food memories.
      It was surprising for me to hear how we all stick to this memories and feel happy and comfortable when we experience a revival .
      For sure it's both, geographical places and our younger selves:)
      Cheers.

      Delete
  3. What wonderful pictures, Daniela. Thank you for taking me along to see the beauty.
    Your stuffed peppers look like pure comfort food. What a great recipe you've shared.
    Thank you for your sweet and loving comments on my post. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kitty,
      So glad to hear you enjoyed the post and the pictures.
      Have a wonderful day and stay strong, you are a great person!

      Delete
  4. This dish looks very good and it must be full of flavour. I hope you're having a wonderful time in Austria although I can appreciate it must be hectic for you. I think the architecture of Austria and your countries rich cultural heritage are stunning. We don't have any palaces in Oz! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlie,
      thank you so much for this great feedback!
      And let me tell you-maybe you don't have palaces in Oz but for sure you have great people who write interesting and funny posts and , as we have seen thanks to our blog, wonderful places and restaurants :)
      Cheers.

      Delete
  5. This looks so delicious Daniela!!! Love the filling!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love how you went from Bruno Mars to classical music and such historical monuments. So funny! These peppers look so hearty and delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joanne,
      the truth is I like many different styles of music from Bruno Mars to Bach and Mozart and many in between:)
      The same goes for Fine Arts, last week we went to an exhibition of Renaissance sculptures and today I just came back from a Lucian Freud show.
      And....I enjoyed them all. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. These look wonderful as do the photos - what a wonderful place; I need to travel more once the kids grow a bit. Looks fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kate,
      Glad to hear that you enjoyed the pictures and the virtual trip!
      Cheers.

      Delete
  8. I have always like stuffed peppers. The ground meat rice filling looks very tempting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angie ,
      me too, I love filled peppers and they are always a hit with family and friends too :)

      Delete
  9. You're making me long to visit Vienna again! I remember the first time I walked in the Museum of Fine Arts. Viewing that staircase literally took my breath away. Thanks for your wonderful photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the virtual trip!
      The staircase in the museum is really beautiful, we just saw a wonderful Lucian Freud exposition there.
      Have a great day!

      Delete
  10. Lovely photos!! And that stuffed bell peppers are just so divine :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. The stuffed green pepper are making me hungry, they look so good. It sounds like you are having a wonderful vacation. I love your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn,
      so great to hear that you enjoyed the pictures and recipe!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. Hi Daniela, this stuffed bell pepper looks so good and tempting and the cheese topping is really great. Slurrpp.... Have a great weekend ahead :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ivy,
      seems to be that we are at the same wave length, stuffed peppers are one of my favorites too:)
      Have a great weekend ahead!

      Delete
  13. Stuffed pepper are such a great dish and yours look really delicious! Love the cheese on top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Amy!
      Have a great weekend ahead!

      Delete
  14. I totally have a pic of the staircase at the Kunsthistorisches Museum from I went too years ago. Ah the memories! I had no idea this was a part of the local cuisine. In Quebec we serve it almost the same but without cheese and the tomato sauce on the stuff pepper Yours looks better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Evelyn,
      one of the best things in life are memories of a beautiful trip!
      I didn't know that stuffed bell peppers are such a popular dish in Canada too,
      seems to be quite an universal recipe with certain local variations.
      Have a great day!

      Delete
  15. Looks amazing Daniela! I love stuffed bell peppers. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Anne!
      Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  16. Would give a try soon. thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that you liked the recipe, Candy!

      Delete
  17. Austria is on my bucket list - great photos. The stuffed peppers look and sound delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pam,
      Hope you can make this trip to Austria, I'm sure you would enjoy itI
      Cheers.

      Delete
  18. What amazing photos! And these peppers are just divine!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love stuffed peppers and I would love to try your version.

    P.S.- I tried leaving a congratulatory note at your blog anniv post but could not find the comment box/ option in that particular post. Don't know if there was a prob with your blog post or at my end. Anyways, a hearty congratulations and wishing you more happy times in the kitchen. Looking forward to more such wonderful posts :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your good wishes, I really appreciate your kind words!
      It seems that there are sometimes problems with my comment box, thank you anyhow for your intention.
      I'll try to fix this issue ASAP.
      Have a great day!

      Delete
  20. Beautiful pictures! The stuffed bell pepper looks delicious with all the cheese. Just the way I like it:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the post.
      Have a great day!

      Delete
  21. Great, now I want to go to Vienna. And I can only imagine how beautiful it must be during Christmas time...amazing!
    BTW the stuffed peppers look awesome,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mike,
      Hope you can make this trip, I'm certain you would enjoy it and for sure during Christmas time there is a very special magic in this place.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  22. That dish looks scrumptious! Stuffed peppers just taste so good.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Daniela, beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Your stuffed bell pepper look appetizing and scrumptious. I'm sure it taste heavenly. :))

    Have a lovely week ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much,Amelia for your kind words, they made my day :)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  24. I have a lot of expat Japanese friends here and they say the same thing. It's so hard to be an expat sometimes because they may not speak the language yet but they have to deal with school and all the other stuff in a new country. I have a high respect for expat people. Anyway, what a lovely place small cafe with live music! And the architecture is amazing! My mom made stuffed bell peppers growing up which I really enjoyed. I need to make some too after I'm inspired by your delicious dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nami,
      it's indeed not easy to live as an expat, especially for children because they did not decide for this kind of life but had to follow their parents.
      On the other hand it's a very enriching experience that teaches you tolerance and understanding towards other cultures and ways of life.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  25. what a great idea for stuffed peppers!

    ReplyDelete

 
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