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Wine of the Week – Stuffed Bell Peppers

| Entertainment | May 21, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Saturday would have been my mom’s birthday. It’s been three years, yet it feels like yesterday she was here. I was thinking about making something that she would have loved. And while I was thinking about different things she liked, I noticed this pan she had in the kitchen that she used for a few things like stuffed bell peppers, Thanksgiving stuffing balls, and a few other dishes. It held six peppers perfectly. It was a 12×7. Sometimes, I cut this recipe in half for only three peppers and use a pan that is half that size.

I wanted to create a twist with this recipe, so I made a vindaloo sauce instead of the traditional tomato. Vindaloo is an Indian meat dish that is marinated in wine and garlic. The sauce has evolved into tomato paste sauce with many aromatic spices. This recipe has medium heat, and you can easily add more chili to make hotter if you prefer.

Now let’s talk wine pairing with spicy foods. With medium heat, an off-dry wine would pair well, but the spicier you prefer, the sweeter the wine should be. Think opposites – with a very spicy creamy curry dish, 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Muscat would be perfect. But, with medium heat and a red sauce, I suggest 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé.

These stuffed peppers with vindaloo sauce will pair with the 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé. This unique Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Symphony and a touch of Syrah for a bit of color. On the nose, you get grapefruit and strawberries. It’s fruity with medium acidity. On the palate are notes of light orange blossom honey, grapefruit and mixed berries. It received 85 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine (12/2017 Edition). It pairs with brie topped with a drizzle of honey, pasta carbonara, pink velvet cake or a strawberry-stuffed cannoli. Enjoy chilled!

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Ingredients

• ½ cup. uncooked rice (I used brown basmati rice)
• 2 + 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, minced
• 1 tbsp. tomato paste
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeno, minced (2 for spicier)
• 2-3 tsp fresh ginger, grated
• 2 tsp garam masala
• 2 tsp ground turmeric
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
• ½ cup 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé
• 1½ cups Vegetable broth or chicken broth
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 6 bell peppers, tops and cores removed (mince the tops)
• Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the rice as directed on the package but use vegetable broth instead of water. Then set aside.
In a food processor, mix the following ingredients until blended; tomato paste, garlic, jalapeno, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and coriander.
In a 3 ½ qt cast iron pot, heat the pot for about a minute and then add olive oil.
Cook the ingredients from the food processor for about 3 minutes.
Remove from pot and set aside.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and brown the ground meat for about 5 minutes, then add onions and the minced tops from the bell peppers. Continue to cook for about 5-8 minutes until onions are translucent.
Add ½ cup of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the paste mixture, rice and stir together.
Fill the peppers with the mixture.
Add stuffed peppers and ½ cup of broth to pan and cover with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes
Serve with a chilled glass of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé. Cheers!

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