My brother is my roommate. This is both lovely and… interesting at the same time. Especially when he says things like, “I just want to see how soon it is before you get really annoyed at me” after saying something really annoying.
The problem with living with your siblings is, they really know how to annoy you. They’ve got practice.
We’ve been living together for all of four days now, and so far so good, despite a few squabbles over how we split the grocery bill. He says, “But I’ve spent twice as much as you.” I say, “But you eat twice as much. Fatty.” And then I cook us dinner.
Tonight, after coming home from work, I realize that there isn’t any food left in the fridge. Of course, by no food left in the fridge, what I mean is, there’s an assortment of strange and half-eaten things. Two peppers, a bit of cream from the tortellini with mushroom and cream sauce I made for dinner last night, an old jar of pesto, some tomato sauce, five forlorn little olives, one fourth of a dried up chili pod.
But my brother is looking at me expectantly. And I’ve promised to cook. So I shrug, and bring the various and unrelated food items out of the fridge until I have a plan. Stuffed peppers. Ish.
Ben is working on his mash-ups – and I can’t help but think that the total ADD selection of music we’re listening to is something like the way I’m cooking. Haphazardly.
It’s coming together I think, though, as I taste the rice I’ve mixed with heavy whipping cream and tomato puree, sautéed onions, garlic, and olives.
This is what I love about cooking. This something from nothing.
I ladle rice into peppers and top them with generous slices of cheese. I change into yoga pants. I make some comments on songs.
“I think the shells are done,” my brother says.
“When you say shells, do you mean peppers?” I say.
He says, “I mean pepper shells.”
We sit down to eat. Pour another glass of the hefeweissen from the case we carried all the way down the block and up five flights of stairs. Ok, that he carried down the block and up five flights of stairs.
I say, “These peppers are delicious. I’m awesome.”
He says, “These peppers would be better if you had filled them with something else. Like candy.”
Not Candy-Filled Peppers (aka Stuffed Peppers with Tomatoes & Rice)
White rice (1 1/2 portions)
2 green peppers
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chile, chopped
8 black olives, chopped
1 handful chopped basil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp. pre-made pesto
Slices of cheese
Cook two portions of rice – or one and a half, you probably won’t be able to fit all the rice into the peppers anyway. While the rice is cooking, halve peppers and remove the seeds and pith. Set aside. In a skillet, sauté yellow onion and garlic until translucent. Add chopped fresh chili, olives, and a handful of chopped basil. But who am I kidding here – you could really add whatever you want. It’s probably more interesting than what I had in my fridge anyway. When the rice has finished cooking, add it to your onion mixture. Add heavy cream, tomato sauce, pesto. Again, this isn’t really a recipe, but rather a gentle suggestion. Just pour some leftover liquid substances into the rice and see what happens. Stir your rice + fridge leftovers mixture well, then ladle into pepper halves. Top with sliced cheese – I used firm goat and aged gouda – and bake in a 400F oven for as long as it takes to finish washing the cooking dishes, listen to your brother’s mash-ups, and drink a glass of hefeweissen. So about 20 minutes. Do not fill with candy. It won’t taste good.