Spanish Peppers Stuffed with Cod

One of my favourite Spanish dishes has to be 'Pimientos del Piquillo'. It is a very traditional dish which consists of stuffing char-grilled sweet red peppers from Lodosa (Northern Spain). The red peppers from this region have a particular shape -which makes them easy to stuff without cutting them open. The consistency of the skin is thick and hard and therefore will not tare easy during stuffing.

Unless you live in Spain, it is impossible to find them fresh -only jarred. Given the choice between using the authentic precooked jarred pimientos del piquillo from Spain to your local red peppers, I will no hesitate to choose the latter.

The original recipe calls for cod to stuff them. But if cod is too expensive (or unavailable) in your area, you can actually pick any other white flaky fish instead.

You can make this dish 1 day ahead and reheat. Actually, it will taste better if you do, than if you eat it right ahead.

What you need
•a cooking pot with a lid;
•food processor;
•oven tray;
•oven dish;
•12 tooth picks

(for 6 peppers)
6 red peppers (for stuffing)
•1 red pepper, diced (for sauce)
•300 g of cod
•1 leak, thoroughly cleaned and sliced in thin rings
•80 ml white wine
•80 ml tomate frito
•80 ml water
•fresh parsley
•1 clove of garlic, minced
•freshly grind pepper
•freshly grind Himalayan salt
•1 tbs agave nectar
•2 tbs virgin olive oil

What you do

•start by making the sauce and fry the leak rings in 1 tbs of virgin olive oil and 3 min. later add the diced red pepper. Cook while moving it around with a wooden spoon;
•add the tomate frito and the white wine;
•add some salt and pepper;
•cook for approx. 1 hour at very low heat and in a covered pot; from time to time add some water to keep the sauce runny;
•if necessary, add 1 tbs of agave nectar. Personally I find that, depending on the quality of the pepper you used for the sauce, it might not even be necessary. Taste the sauce and see what your taste buds tell you....
•now that the sauce is cooking, preheat the oven to 195C and when the oven has reached this temperature, wash the red pepers thoroughly with hot water and place 6 in a baking tray (making sure the do not touch each other);
•cook in the middle of the oven for approx. 30 min (look at the picture below to get an idea of how the peppers should look);
•remove the peppers from the oven and let them rest on your kitchen counter till they cool down a bit;
•in the meantime, you could work on the cod stuffing by frying the diced onion and minced garlic in 1 tbs of virgin olive oil and 3 min. later, adding the cod, some salt and pepper. When the cod is almost cooked, cut some parsley on top of it with a scissors. Turn off the heat;
•once the grilled peppers have cooled off, remove the skin. Then, gently cut them in half and removed the stem and seeds;
•stuff the peppers with the cod and close them with toothpicks;
•gently arrange the stuffed peppers in an oven dish;
•now put the sauce in a food processor and blend it smooth;
•over the peppers with it;

You can now either wait for everything to cool down, cover the dish with some foil and keep it in the fridge for one or two days can put it back in the oven. Crank the heat to 240C en warm everything up for approx. 15 min. before serving!
Red peppers and in the top 5 of most sprayed vegetable! If possible, buy organic. If not, make sure you was the vegetables very well under piping hot water. That will take a lot of the chemicals of the surface.