Caribbean Chilli Stuffed Peppers

16 Sep

As you know I get most of my food inspiration from the fruit & vegetables I see growing in the fields where I walk with the dog in the morning.  There are hundreds of these peppers everywhere.

This time of year there is always a glut of tomatoes. So much so that they are basically being given away or left to rot on the ground.

This whole field of corn is being left to dry out completely. The corn was ripe about a month ago but has not been harvested. I don’t know why, I’m hoping that they are going to use it to make corn flour or something. It seems such a waste.

My scotch bonnet chilli pepper plant is still producing more chillis. I have 3 large tubs already in the freezer and it has just flowered again which means another crop.

I have just been back to England for a few days for my mum’s birthday. As usual I had to buy another cookbook while I was there. This time I decided to go for something Caribbean as I have so many Scotch Bonnets to use. The book is Spice it Up by Levi Roots.

There are lots of recipes I’m eager to try but his Caribbean chilli was the first one because it used a lot of stuff I had to finish up in my fridge. I love recipes like this It’s so versatile. I added the sweetcorn and used lentils instead of kidney beans as  that is what I had.

I also have a really healthy thyme plant on my terrace. It’s not woody at all so you can use the whole sprigs for seasoning as well as the leaves. Fresh thyme is used a lot in Caribbean food.

So you can kind of see how my brain works. The stuff I see growing while walking the dog stays in my head. It gets added to the things I have on my roof terrace and inspiration from books brings it all together somehow.  It’s this creativity that I love and that keeps me cooking and writing this blog.

So I made the chilli which was delicious on its own with some rice or cornbread and then used the rest to stuff into the green peppers for lunch the next day. A sprinkling of grated cheese before roasting gives it that something extra and takes it in a slightly more Mexican direction.

For that late summer vibe you can’t beat a bit of Caribbean spice. So if it’s rainy where you are, bring on the sunshine, get creative and start cooking.

Caribbean Chilli Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4 as chilli, 6 for stuffed peppers, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free.

Adapted from Spice it Up by Levi Roots

For the Caribbean chilli:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, halved lengthways, rinsed & finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • salt & black pepper
  • a bunch of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and roughly diced
  • 2 small long green peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 250 gr mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped (or 1 x 400 gr tin)
  • 1 or 2 red chilli (ideally scotch bonnet) I used 4 of my small ones
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tin/jar cooked lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tin/jar cooked kidney beans/white beans, rinsed
  • 1 ear of corn, silk removed and kernels sliced off into a bowl
  • 2 tbsp tomate frito (tomato puree/ketchup)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 or 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 a lime juiced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrot & garlic and cook for about 5-8 minutes until softened.

Season well with salt & pepper and add the cumin, allspice and fresh thyme leaves, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Next add in the  peppers, cook for 2 minutes then add in the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the chopped tomatoes, chillis, sweetcorn, lentils & beans and stir well. Then add the tomato puree, sugar & soy sauce.

Lower the heat, cover and cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, add more salt, sugar or cayenne pepper if not hot enough for you. Stir in the chopped coriander and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 a lime.

Serve straight away with plain boiled rice or some cornbread or use to stuff peppers.

For the Stuffed Peppers:

  • 1 large long green pepper per person
  • Caribbean chilli (see above)
  • olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • dried chilli flakes
  • grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the peppers in half lengthways and remove the seeds and core. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the peppers on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, thyme leaves and chilli flakes, toss to coat.

Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, you can do this while your chilli is cooking if you like. When the peppers are cooked spoon the cooked chilli into the peppers and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes for the cheese to melt. Cook for 15-2o minutes if the filling is cold.

Serve on their own or with a simple green salad.

Things That Made Me Smile Today……..

My best friend Tara, who I miss a lot, made dinner for me when I was back in England. I’ve never seen her cook before so I was very honoured!!

Especially as she made my White Bean Dip  as well as a Blue Cheese, Pear & Walnut Salad, Nachos and some delicious Spicy Roasted Potatoes. It was  far too much food for the two of us but we still managed to polish off some Baklava and a bottle of pink champagne.

She has two gorgeous Chihuahuas, a boy & a girl called Rocky and Coco. Rocky is the white one and Coco is brown. I don’t usually like little yappy- type dogs but they are so cute.

Thanks T, I miss you. Come and see me soon!!

20 Responses to “Caribbean Chilli Stuffed Peppers”

  1. Caroline September 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    That pepper hanging from the tree is gorgeous. And these stuffed chillies sound delicious. Mmm just look at the melted cheese. Those pups are too cute, too.🙂

  2. Savorique September 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    I love a dish where the shape of the vegetable is preserved!
    I wonder how spicy this dish is, hot or mild…

  3. eileencarpio September 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Soooo making these next week! Thanks!

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide September 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Hooray two dog photos. I love that you draw inspiration from your surroundings and how well your thyme plant is doing. Great recipe!

  5. frugalfeeding September 17, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    Oh wow, those look incredible. Love the photos especially. Great idea!

  6. Kelly September 17, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    I find these peppers both interesting and beautiful. Delightful ingredients and a wonderful post!

  7. Clarkie @ Beloved Green September 17, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    Firstly, Rocky and Coco are absolutely adorable. Secondly, I am salivating over these stuffed peppers. Yum!

  8. Three Well Beings September 17, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Very versatile recipes, and perfect for the change in seasons. Still using summer produce but ready for fall…I think the spiciness of the chili is just perfect. The pictures are very enticing! I have the same tomatoes on the ground and mourn their loss…I almost cannot give them away at this point. How sad when in one month they will all be gone–Debra

  9. tony ward September 17, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    These look wunnerful princess.Can almost taste them even if it is only breakfast time here.

    Great blog and super photos, as per, glad you had a good time in the U.K. with ‘the gang’…..I see you managed to slip in a few cavitas along the way.

    Besitos. xx

  10. Tes September 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Oh wow this looks so wonderful🙂 The stuffed pepper looks so wonderful, fresh and flavourful🙂

  11. Maris (in Good Taste) September 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    The photos are really spectacular. I agree about yappy dogs but these guys are adorable!

  12. Tara September 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Ah bless. I’ll have to learn more recipes so I can impress you even more! Doesn’t Coco look like a ladeeeee.

    Great to see the photos on your blog, I am honoured😉 and it was lovely having you here. See you very soon I hope xx

  13. Tammy September 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    A recipe like this could easily become a favorite – it has so many wonderful flavors.

  14. jacquelincangro September 19, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    I have a similar dish in my repertoire, but I usually cut off the top of the pepper so it can stand up in the pan. Such a little change but I like the idea of cutting the pepper in half lengthwise because then every part of the filling gets covered with cheese. 🙂

    Those dogs are cuties! Sounds like you had a lovely visit with your friend.

  15. chicaandaluza September 19, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Just back from the north of Spain and I have a ton of green peppers to deal with in my garden – perfect timing with this recipe! Didn´t realise that thyme was used in Caribbean cooking, very interesting. Have been thinking about getting a levi Roots cookbook…maybe now is the time!

  16. Dani September 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Those stuffed peppers are just so pretty!

  17. E September 20, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    yum!!! oh my goodness, those look delicious (does NOT help that I am starving right now)! I have so missed reading your blog since law school took over my life… hope all is well!

  18. luvnspoonfuls September 21, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    This looks like such a versatile recipe…I love all the flavor and spices. Shame about the wasted food you see on your walks! Anyway, lovely post and photos.

  19. Jorge October 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Wow small world, I jut found about you via Tasteologie. When I saw the light of that garden I figured it must to bee Spain! I am also in the Malaga province.
    I am not a vegetarian but those Caribbean Chilli Stuffed Peppers look just unvelibeble specially at this time of the day…
    Good to met you.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Zucchini Green Chilli Cornbread « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - October 4, 2011

    […] would also be the perfect accompaniment to this Caribbean Chilli or this Chilli Sin Carne Soup or this Mexican Squash Chilli. Take your […]

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