While roaming the streets of Paris, we treated our taste buds with all the good food from the cafes and pastry shops along our way. Having both lunch and dinner in fancy restaurants would get pretty expensive, but crepes made on little stands on the side of the street filled our tummy well within budget. So during the day, when we used to be on the run, we mostly ate those savory crepes and sandwiches. For dinner though, we made it a point to eat at some nice restaurants in the city. While we enjoyed all the food that we ate, the menu and the food at one such restaurant is worth mentioning. The dinner menu was diligently designed by the chef and included a mouth watering salad and entree for everybody, no matter what one's preference: vegetarian, seafood or meat. Pratik ordered the following at this restaurant, but I just happened to like it so much, that I ended up eating most of it. Try it out and let me know whether I was being mean :-)
For the stuffing-
5 red bell peppers
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
3 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 pkg (~ 400 g) extra firm tofu
1 tbs Gochujang (Korean) sauce (Alternately, you can use chopped green or red chillies. The intention is to make the stuffing spicy to complement the slightly sweet saffron sauce)
Salt to taste
Few cilantro leaves for topping the stuffed pepper
Cooking oil spray
For the sauce-
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp saffron strands
1 tsp clarified butter
For the stuffing-
1. Pressure cook 1 cup of basmati rice with 2 cups of water.
2. Cut the tofu into thin slabs and fry them on some oil until both the sides are crisp.
3. Mince the fried tofu coarsely.
4. In a skillet, heat 1 tsp of oil and add 3 tbs of chopped basil. Fry for about a minute and then add the minced tofu. Fry for another 2 minutes and add the Gochujang sauce. Mix all these ingredients well and add the mixture to the cooked rice. Add salt as per taste. Cover and let this sit for half hour to allow the flavors to combine.
5. Remove the stem of the red peppers and clean the inside.
6. Stuff the peppers with this mixture. Line them on a baking tray and spray some cooking oil on them.
7. Broil them, turning the peppers around until all the sides are evenly browned.
For the sauce:
1. In a sauce pan, heat the clarified butter. Add the milk and heavy cream and simmer.
2. Add the saffron and sugar when the milk is hot.
3. Continue stirring until reduced to half.
1. In a plate serve one stuffed red pepper and pour about 1/2 cup saffron sauce on the top. Top with some leaves of cilantro.