Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
As you may already know, Papa (my husband has been stuck with this name ever since my daughter christened him) and I do a variety of interesting things on our weekly date night. You may also know, from the various recipes I post, that I thoroughly enjoy cooking. Papa hasn't shown much interest in cooking, apart from as a taster and consumer, and I usually indulge in this activity alone, or with my girls.
But last Friday, the day before date night, Papa surprised me. He said, "Lets cook something together tomorrow."
I was quite sure something was wrong with my hearing, so I asked him to repeat. "We like eating something exotic on date night. So why not make it together? It'll be a fun activity." He explained.
I was thrilled. We decided to start with something simple, and chose stuffed peppers.
First I set some rice to cook on the gas in the kitchen. Then Papa and I took the other ingredients to the dining table to chop, while we chatted. Papa hollowed out a couple of large yellow bell peppers, while I finely chopped some tomatoes. Papa cut up garlic cloves in to thin flakes. This was pretty basic, for flavoring the rice. So we discussed what spices to add. We finally decided upon cumin and coriander powder and some fresh coriander.
When we returned to the kitchen, the rice was more or less cooked. Papa checked on the proper oven temperature for cooking stuffed peppers and set the oven to heat. While he did that, I heated a little olive oil in a saucepan and added the garlic flakes. Once they browned, I added the finely chopped tomatoes, some salt, cumin powder and coriander powder and let the mixture cook for a few minutes.
Then Papa poured the cooked rice into the saucepan with the tomato garlic preparation, and I mixed it all with the flame on simmer. Then Papa and I stuffed the peppers. Stuffed peppers usually have cheese in them, but Papa and I don't much care for cheese so we initially decided against it.
When we were putting on the tops of the peppers, Papa asked me why we were doing it. I told him it would keep the stuffing from drying out. That's when he pointed out, that melted cheese may work as a seal and help keep the top in place, so it may be a good idea to add just a little cheese. He made a very good point. So, we added a bit of an Amul cheese slice on the top of the stuffed pepper bottoms before closing it with the top.
We chatted as we waited for it to bake for about 20 minutes. It was delicious, and it felt awesome to co-operate on a task, and then enjoy the fruits (or should I say vegetables) of our labor. It was one of the most romantic and productive date night activities we have ever indulged in.
Thrilled with our great success, this Saturday we are confident and eager to try something more exotic and ambitious. Perhaps an interesting lamb dish, or some Lebanese cooking. We are having fun exploring the possibilities.