Epiphany is a strong word. Maybs it is a bit of an exaggeration, but the other week I was actually stupefied by two dark shadows of delicious possibility that fell on me. Here is the first one.
A sweet potato.
It gets better.
I came home on a Saturday night, fresh from a swim and feeling fairly peckish. The night before I’d made sweet potato mash, but I’d decided to keep some of the vegetable water because vegetable water makes good stock. Not that I knew what I was going to have for dinner the next day. But it is a shame to pour flavoursome water down the drain.
So, in the fridge I had a green pepper, sweet potato mash, sweet potato water and a courgette, with some cooked rice and quorn mince hiding in the freezer. The dinner that heaved itself off the sofa and came into my mind was a stuffed pepper.
Well, I grated some courgette and sautéed it in coconut oil and added the quorn mince. Then the stuff started sticking a bit to the bottom of the pan, so I decided to add some wat- wait. I got my ready-flavoured water out of the fridge and added a teaspoon in. Nothing bad seemed to happen so I added about 3 tablespoons. And then I tried it.
Just as well there was nobody around because I had no words. This slightly haphazard mix of food bits had come together and exploded with flavour and texture. There was the slightly soft but matted texture of the quorn, the nutty grains of brown rice, mushy courgette strands all bound together in a sweetness that stopped me in my tracks. I’d added salt, mixed herbs and asafoetida but I’d been planning on dosing it up with harissa, chillies, maybe a bit of turmeric. No need, my friends. I added some of the mashed sweet potato too and was rewarded with more flavour n more texture.
I stuffed the stuff in the pepper which had been warming up in the oven and fished it out after fifteen minutes. The green pepper had a beautifully blistering skin that split to reveal glistening flesh and this fabulous filling.
If you find yourself not wanting to waste sweet potty water (hehe) take my word on this.
1 pepper (green is quite bitter but complemented the mix)
1 teaspoon coconut oil/any
Handful of grated courgette
3 tablespoons of cooked brown rice
Seasoning e.g. salt, mixed herbs and asafoetida (oniony)
3 tablespoons of sweet potato cooking water
1 tablespoon of sweet potato mash
- Turn the oven to 180 degrees C
- Cut the top out of the pepper and put it in the oven on a tray to get it going
- Heat oil and add courgette until a few bits look brown
- Add the rice and cook together, adding seasoning
- When it gets a bit dry, add the water in teaspoons, every so often
- Add the sweet pot mash as you go
- When it has the consistency of baby food take it off the heat, whip out the pepper and pack it all in
- Throw back in the oven for 15 min et voilà!