Rachael Ray's Ratatouille-Stuffed Jack-o'-Peppers
Stuff Yourself With Stuffed Peppers
Celeb chef Rachael Ray has provided hundreds of quick and delicious weeknight dinners over the years, but her new book, "Week In A Day," takes the concept of fast and family-friendly even further, allowing busy cooks to prepare a week's worth of meals in a single day. Try one of these multi-tasking recipes for her Ratatouille-Stuffed Jack-o'-Peppers.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup EVOO (4 turns of the pan) and the butter. When the butter foams, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs to soak in the oil and butter. Cook until light golden, toasted, and fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the Parm and parsley.
Chop one of the bell peppers and set aside. Trim the tops off the remaining 6 bell peppers about ½ inch down from the top. Scoop out the seeds and, using a small, sharp paring knife, cut out a jack-o'-lantern face on one of the sides. Set the peppers upright; if a pepper is very unstable, trim the bottom to make it stand.
Season the peppers on the inside with salt and pepper. Invert the peppers onto a baking sheet and place the tops alongside. Coat the peppers with a little cooking spray. Bake until tender-crisp and a bit charred at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, salt the eggplant and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
In a large deep skillet, heat the remaining ¼ cup EVOO (4 turns of the pan) over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chopped bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, onion, chile, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir another minute, and remove from the heat.
Combine the bread crumbs with the vegetables and adjust the seasonings. Pour the passata into an oven-to-table baking dish that will hold all 6 peppers snugly. Stuff the peppers, overstuffing a bit, and set the tops in place. Set the peppers in the baking dish as you fill them.
[If making this dish to serve on Cook Day, you can serve the peppers right away.]
[Make-ahead: Let cool, cover, and refrigerate.]
[Night of: Return the peppers to room temp while you preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until hot through, 30 to 35 minutes.]
This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.
Copyright © 2013 by Rachael Ray from WEEK IN A DAY published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.