Great Summer Meals: Hot Stuffed Green Peppers, Cold Rice Shrimp Salad

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summerricedishes 019Rice Shrimp Salad, 1960s, Lorraine

Easy dish to prepare: use extra white rice, leftover from the night before.

  • 1 cup small cooked shrimp
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf or Italian parsley
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen tiny peas (thawed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice
  • Squeeze lemon juice over shrimp.

Add all ingredients, cover & refrigerate several hours.

Recipe can be doubled

The 60s: Dance the twist in that famous mini skirt.  Hula hoops and disco dancing, Afros for the hair and paisley shirts for the guys. Music was groovy.

If fresh vegetables are wilted or blemished, pick off the brown edges and soak vegetables for an hour in cold water to which the juice of a lemon or a few tablespoons of vinegar have been added. Kitchen Hints 1980.

summerricedishes 001Stuffed Vegetables (Mahsi) 1970s,

Note card reads 1970s but variations of this recipe have been around for hundreds of years.

You can use a variety of vegetables for stuffing: tomatoes, zucchini or eggplant. My favorite is multi-colored bell peppers.

Cut off tops, reserving lids. Clean out seeds but reserve tomato pulp.

  • ½-1 lb. ground beef, pork, or lamb or combination. I use lamb.
  • Omit the meat for a vegetarian version.

summerricedishes 014Stuffing:

  • Brown in a skillet:
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • Add:
  • ½ cup minced parsley
  • 1 cup uncooked rice or 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce plus any reserved tomato pulp
  • Fresh chopped dill and/or mint to taste
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Fill hollowed-out vegetables 2/3 full with rice mixture, replacing lids
  • Place vegetables in a baking dish; add water (or combination of water and tomato sauce) to ¼ inch depth.
  • Bake 1 ½ hours at 325 degrees for uncooked rice and 1 hours at 350 for precooked rice. Crock pots work too and you don’t have to heat up the house. Of course they’ll need to cook 4-6 hours depending on the temperature of your crock pot.

Other variations:

  • ¼ teaspoon allspice or ¼ teaspoon dried basil.
  • Use cabbage and grape leaves, steam leaves until softened, fill with stuffing, roll into shape and bake.

The Chinese were working here before the Italians immigrated here. The Chinese men were allowed to come into the United States but their women were not. My mother-in-law used to tell me that there was a labor camp within sight of the home, and she would see these men come outside to eat where it was cooler than in the shacks they live in, to eat their meals. They would have something white mounded in the little bowls in their hands, and she thought it was snow. She told me that she would have given anything to get a bite of that snow!  It looked so white and cool to her. It was summer and she was so warm. Interview with Rose Giorgetti. Sanger, California Historical Society, 1992.Her in-laws arrived in California in 1907.

Rice, sometimes called the food of the ages. It’s as old as history.