Dea's stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers can be modified to suit several diets, try them with Quorn chicken pieces for vegetarian visitors. Photography by Alexander Wenk.

Stuffed peppers can be modified to suit several diets, try them with Quorn chicken pieces for vegetarian visitors. Photography by Alexander Wenk.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Stuffed peppers are a traditional Albanian summer dish. They also appear in a range of cuisines around the world whether they’re filled with tofu in Korea or carnitas - braised pork - and cheese in Mexico.

Did you know red peppers are just green peppers that has been left to ripen? The red ones are the sweetest though, so bear that in mind when deciding what colour pepper to use. If you feel like branching out, you can even buy varieties of peppers that are purple or brown. Dea Manaj made use of red, yellow and green peppers, the most easily available, when she cooked for us.

This is Dea’s improvised stuffed pepper recipe. It’s adapted slightly from how her family might cook it in Albania, where it is typical to use minced beef instead of chicken. Don’t take the measurements of seasoning too seriously, Dea changes it every time as she prefers to use far more spice than her family do back in Albania.

INGREDIENTS

6 bell peppers, red, green or yellow

White rice - judge quantity according to size of peppers

3 chicken breasts

4 garlic cloves

1 onion, finely diced

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp paprika

Small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp mixed italian herbs

1 can of tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT?

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ Gas 6

  2. Slice the chicken into thin strips, toss it with oil and a mix of the dried spices (but leave most for later) and bake for 25 minutes

  3. For the peppers preheat oven to 175C/ 150C fan/ Gas 4

  4. Slice off the top of the peppers and scoop out the seeds

  5. Cook and drain the rice, stir in tomato sauce and season with all of the condiments

  6. Fill the peppers with the rice and chicken

  7. Put the peppers in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom of the dish

  8. Roast your stuffed peppers for 175 minutes