I have maintained for quite a while now that Thai food is my desert island food. It’s sweet! It’s spicy! It’s savory! It’s tangy! Basically: it’s everything. It should come as no surprise, then, that I’ve made it my Life Mission to Thai-ify everything and prove once and for all that there is no meal that Thai flavors can’t improve upon. My latest conquest? The stuffed pepper!
Stuffed peppers are a pretty classic comfort food. What they’re stuffed with depends on what country you’re in, but it usually consists of some mixture of tomato sauce, rice, herbs, ground meat, and cheese. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but they just don’t rock my flavor boat the way that Thai curry does! Here, we’ve infused Thai red curry flavor into our stuffed pepper filling by simmering rice and late summer veggies with curry paste and coconut milk. The amount of Thai curry flavor will depend heavily on the brand of curry paste you use, so this is definitely an instance where you want to season to taste.
Arborio rice is used for the filling because it releases a lot of starch, causing the filling to be gloriously creamy, but sushi rice or basmati rice should work as well. Brown rice could be substituted, but the cooking time will have to be adjusted according to its longer cook time needs. The peppers are boiled before filling to give them a head start on cooking. This sounds onerous, but takes almost no time at all. Once stuffed, they are transferred to the oven so that they can caramelize and take on some of that deep sweet roasted red pepper flavor, which really compliments the spice of the filling.
You might have some leftover filling, depending on the size of your peppers. Feel free to serve it alongside the peppers or, if you’re like me, you might not be able to resist snacking on it while the peppers cook! This is a no judgement zone, so just do whatever you feel is right.
How much curry paste you'll want to add will depend on how spicy your curry paste is. Make sure to taste as you add it to make sure you add enough.
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