Food, Thoughts

The Panicked Chef Makes: A Pot of Peppers

With February here, I’m looking forward to spring.  Imbolc occurred at the beginning of this month, and while I don’t celebrate it as a pagan holiday, I do take a moment to remember that spring is coming, the season is passing.  So, I was inspired to make a few dishes with peppers, to keep warm as well as bring a bit of color into my day.

First, my husband Kurt was reviewing Bobby Dean’s new cookbook, Bobby Dean’s Everyday Eats.  We browsed through the soup section, looking for something to keep us warm despite the difficult weather.  We finally decided on his Sausage and Pepper Pot with Collard Greens.

A delicious mid-season soup full of bright veggies.
A delicious mid-season soup full of bright veggies.

Not only was the soup revitalizing to our half-frozen selves, this healthy recipe is also low on calories.  For those of you who are curious, Mr. Dean’s recipe, as follows:

2 teaspoons of olive oil1 lb turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-think-rounds
2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 large green bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large onion, halved & thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bunch of collard greens (about 10 oz.), stems removed, leaves sliced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
freshly ground black pepper
hot sauce, for serving
1.) In a large pot over high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil.  When the oil is hot, add the sausage.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned all over & cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a paper-towel lined plate.
2.)  Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pot, along with the red and green bell peppers, onion and salt.  Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the collard greens and cook until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes.  Return the sausage to the pot and add the broth.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Season with black pepper to taste and serve with hot sauce.

The soup was amazing, but after another chilly week, I was still craving the bright, tasty peppers.  I went over to one of my favorite food blogs, the New York Times’ Recipes for Health and scanned the different ideas Martha Rose Shulman had posted.  I found this recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Peppers.  The recipe based on a piperade, the Basque version of an omelet or a frittata.  I cooked this for Kurt as a treat, since he does so much cooking for me.

A piperade, by way of a clumsy wanna-be chef
A piperade, by way of a clumsy wanna-be chef

I have to admit, I don’t really like extra ingredients in my eggs.  But these came out so tasty & rich, I was pretty damned pleased with myself.  Another chilly weekend passed with good food & the reminder that spring is around the corner.  I hope these recipes warm you as well!