When I was away at university I had the opportunity to meet a lot of friends coming from different walks of life. Part of getting to know them was also getting down with their culture and of course, the food they eat. I happened to have a Hungarian roommate and we would switch cooking for one another every Wednesday night. Sometimes we would even have guests come and they’d bring food from their country, which really makes for a great conversation for an intimate dinner party.
One of the recipes that quite struck me was my roommate’s Hungarian Stuffed Peppers or Toltott Paprika. It’s a very simple recipe and the ingredients are minimal and cheap. However, it certainly isn’t lacking in flavour. It’s bursting with flavours with the mixture of spices that go into it.
The traditional Toltott paprika although filled with ground chuck and pork also has some rice and a teaspoon of sugar. But you can always take it out of the equation to stay true to your low carb diet or you can save your carb allowance for this wonderful European dinner. And a teaspoon of sugar I think is actually negligible.
Yields: 10 pieces
10 multicolored bell peppers
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon sweet or hot Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Sour cream for garnish (optional)
Wash peppers. Cut off tops and remove seeds. Season cavities lightly with salt and pepper. Finely chop pepper tops and place in large bowl.
Add onion, ground chuck, pork, egg, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic to bowl with pepper tops. Mix well.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture. If you have any leftover meat filling, form it into meatballs.
Place peppers and any meatballs in a small slow cooker. Mix together tomato sauce and sugar and pour over peppers. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. This also can be cooked in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour or on the stove top for 1 hour.
Serve peppers with a dollop of sour cream, and if desired, cauliflower rice. Cooked peppers freeze well if covered with sauce.