Talking SCHOP! ‘Happy eating and thanks for reading’

Kysha Harris | 7/18/2019, 2:02 p.m.
I am taking a moment to thank all of the readers of this historic newspaper. Aside from a job, the ...
Stuffed Peppers Kysha Harris photo

I am taking a moment to thank all of the readers of this historic newspaper. Aside from a job, the collective work of the team is a labor of love, yes, but mostly a labor of respect for you, the readers and the community at large. We appreciate you investing in us weekly and the legacy that is The Amsterdam News. Cheers!

Now, inspired by a woman who recently recognized my friend Jason from one or more of our food exploits documented here (happy to bring him a modicum of celebrity…), here is the food “style” I am currently rocking in the kitchen. ALERT: it is vegetarian.

Since my right wrist was damaged in a workout incident on my #FitToFifty journey, I had to ask a couple of friends to sous chef me with my clients. Last week was Krista. I was grateful for the hands but also for the inspiration to make Krista’s delicious vegetarian sausage and peppers recipe with some SCHOP! modifications, one being the vehicle to get it in the mouth…no bread. The solution? The existential, stuff the pepper in a pepper (queue groovy music).

4 large sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), cut lengthwise and cleaned out

1 lb vegetarian Italian sausage (recommend: @FieldRoast), chopped small

1 cup sweet Vidalia onion, chopped

2 sweet bell peppers (no green), chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, hand torn

salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1 cup provolone cheese, freshly grated

1 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and sausage and sauté until slightly browned. Remove sausage from pan, add more oil to the pan if needed. Add onion and chopped peppers. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and Italian seasoning. Stir to incorporate and sauté until onions are transparent and volume has decreased, no browning, 8-10 minutes.

Return sausage to the pan plus garlic and oregano and sauté for 3 minutes until all ingredients are incorporated. Transfer all to a large mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper as needed.

Rub outsides of peppers with olive oil and fit into a 9x12-baking dish. Season insides of peppers with salt and pepper. Stuff sausage and vegetable mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, layering provolone, finishing with stuffing.

Add a cup of water to the bottom of the dish and a large pat of butter. Cover with parchment and then foil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until pepper containers are tender and water is evaporated.

Remove from oven, top with mozzarella and return to oven, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes. (Optional) Place under the broiler to brown if needed, but watch it.

Garnish each pepper with fresh basil and serve with a big salad. Pour a great glass of rosé or buttery chardonnay and get your full vegetarian life!

Let me know what you think.

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!