Happy Thanksgiving Getting Stuffed Day.
What is it about holidays? Getting Stuffed is practically a synonym. It’s at least a middle name. From Victoria Getting Stuffed Day, Canada Getting Stuffed Day, Christmas Getting More Stuffed Day, to New Year’s Stuffed Again Day……..and it’s the same with the Jewish holidays, from Passover to Hanukkah, although it does manage (somehow!) to skip over Yom Kippur.
The disturbing awareness compels us to turn the day into a whole project on its own, defined by the goal of Not Getting Stuffed. There’s the self-talk in the days leading up to, coaching from breakfast on, trying to pull in those reins (but surely I’m allowed some whole grains with my coffee!) (getting nervous now). And then it doesn’t help if you’re the guy doing the cooking and how are you not supposed to test the results? And we haven’t even come up to the mid-day marker. (Vestiges of a dependency issue here?)
The Goal gets a little murky by the afternoon (is the purpose of the empty stomach better accommodation for stuffing?) Before you know it, it’s a moot point that can only be addressed with the loosening of one’s belt. What? You’re wearing track pants?!
Get thee out for a walk if you can, enjoy the blessings of the day, and earn back the right to dinner….
Another what-to-do-with-the-leftovers suggestion. I’ve finally discovered the pleasure of poblanos. This, to me, is the ideal pepper for stuffing because of its fine flavor and what I think of as ‘low displacement’. It is not meaty, and neither is it wet; it is light in terms of density and if it was a boat, which it kind of is for these purposes, it would displace little water. I think of that as a good thing when it comes to stuffing, not to mention the belt notch.
Here I offer two possibilities: the first for what-to-do-with leftover brisket. I’m sure that turkey or chicken would be equally good.
The second is not really for leftovers. It calls for the divine Pecorino Fresco cheese made by the marvelous Monforte people and the outrageously good Caraffa olives (see my posts Just for the Smell of It and Precious Gem of an Olive for other recipes). If time or convenience gets in the way, you can use mozzarella and regular olives here.
Recipe: Meat Stuffed Poblanos
3 or 4 Poblano peppers
6 to 8 basil or spinach leaves
some leftover grilled summer squash or eggplant
some leftover beef brisket
cherry tomato halves or hot peppers
olives (preferably Caraffa)
chili sauce (recipe follows)
Wash and halve the peppers. Stick them under the broiler (cut side down) for 5 min.
Alternatively, you can flash-fry them, cut side up, for 5 min.
Place a basil or spinach leaf in each one.
Place some leftover squash or eggplant in each. If you have none, some jarred marinated peppers or mushrooms or the like would be nice.
Top with some brisket, or whatever is your meat choice. Hey. Maybe fish would go well here. Try it and see.
Top with cherry tomato halves or hot peppers and olive halves.
Sit in a pool of chili sauce and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 30 min.
And curses that I had no fresh coriander to finish it off with!
The chili sauce is a hand-me-down recipe from a Finnish friend in P.E.I. another lifetime ago (thank you Jeannie).
Recipe: Chili Sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 extra lge. clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. corn meal
1 Tbsp. chili powder, dissolved in 3 Tbsp. hot water
2/3 c. tomato sauce
Heat oil and garlic in a saucepan on medium heat.
Just as garlic starts to sizzle, whisk in the corn meal.
Stir for a minute, then add the dissolved chili powder.
Keep stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce.
Bring to a simmer and turn off heat.
Recipe: Cheese Stuffed Poblanos
3 to 4 Poblano peppers
6 to 8 basil or spinach leaves
About 1/3 of a disc of Pecorino Fresco cheese, sliced
(or about 125 gms. mozzarella, sliced)
A dozen or so halved olives, preferably Caraffa
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 extra large clove of garlic, minced
2/3 to 3/4 c. tomato sauce
Wash and halve the peppers.
Broil, cut side down, for 5 minutes.
Alternatively, flash-fry in oiled pan for about 5 min.
Place basil or spinach leaf in each.
Top with cheese and then, olives and tomatoes.
Sit in a pool of tomato sauce to which has been added the garlic.
Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 min.