Monday, October 26, 2009
Total: 1 hr 30 mins
Active: 15 mins
Makes: 8 servings
By Amy Wisniewski
Pelau is like a Trinidadian coconut milk–based pilaf. It’s usually made with chicken, but here we go meatless. It’s perfect for stuffing into peppers to throw on the grill, but you can also serve it as a side dish on its own.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups medium-dice butternut squash
2 cups thinly sliced scallions (about 12 medium scallions)
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into small dice
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas
4 medium bell peppers (any color), halved lengthwise and seeded
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
Method of Preparation
Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat. When it shimmers, add sugar and stir until incorporated. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts and is dark brown, about 5 minutes. Add squash, 1 1/2 cups of the scallions, garlic, and salt; season with freshly ground black pepper; and stir to coat squash. Cook until squash is softened, about 4 minutes.
Add tomato, thyme, oregano, and tomato paste and stir to coat squash. Add coconut milk and stir to incorporate. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add rice and black-eyed peas, stir to incorporate, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is done and vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium low (about 325°F). Rub outside of peppers with remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and season both inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove rice mixture from heat and let stand covered about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining scallions, cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest.
Divide mixture evenly among peppers (about 1/2 cup pelau per pepper half). Grill, covered, until peppers are soft and just starting to char, about 30 minutes.