Suzanne Husseini, the Canadian-Arab author of When Suzanne Cooks, believes adopting the fundamentals of Slow Food will help food cultures survive the test of time. "It is what is natural and sustained people for generations," she says. "We source food that is ethically produced and sustainable. We respect the ingredients and cook to nourish our bodies." Husseini keeps her dishes modern, though her cooking style stems from Arab roots and incorporates a Slow Food approach.
Stuffed Peppers (For more slow food recipes visit our Bites blog)
3 red peppers
3 yellow peppers
2 cups short grain rice, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp clarified butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp dried mint
300 g minced lamb
6 slices of tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
8 large tomatoes, peeled and puréed
1 cup water
4 tbsp tomato paste
cup mint, chopped
cup parsley, chopped
Cut the tops of the peppers carefully with a knife, leaving the stem intact. Remove the membrane and seeds. Keep the tops as they will be the lids. Rinse and leave aside to prepare the stuffing.
In a large bowl place the rice, butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, minced garlic, 2 tbsp dried mint, and salt and pepper, mixing well. Add the minced lamb and, using your hands, mix it into the rice. Fill the hollow peppers loosely till three-quarters full and place one tomato slice on top. Repeat for all peppers. Place the filled peppers in a deep baking dish.
Preheat oven to 190'C.
In a saucepan heat the olive oil and sautée the sliced garlic for one minute and pour in the puréed tomatoes. Add in the water, tomato paste, 1 tbsp dry mint, fresh mint, parsley, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, salt and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.
Pour the tomato sauce all around the peppers. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until rice is cooked. Serve hot with the tomato sauce and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped mint.
Watch Suzanne Husseini prepare lemony garlic chicken with rice and yogurt sauce at www.thenational.ae/multimedia.