Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bulgarian Pepper and Cheese Casserole

You'll find this recipe perhaps just a bit unusual, but I can assure you that it's delicious! Every member of our family loves it. And those of us who try to watch the grocery bills and be frugal are especially thrilled with it because we've grown most of the ingredients here at home!
Our 600 green pepper plants provide more than we know what to do with, and we're finding that we are having to use our hundreds of pounds of onions as quickly as possible, because it looks like they won't last all winter. Mom has been making cottage cheese almost every day with our extra milk, and we've filled out large freezer with shredded homemade mozzarella cheese. The chickens are laying lots of brown eggs, so there really isn't much to buy when making this! Now, if we just had a mushroom patch... (No, really, I hope we scale the garden back a bit next year!)

Bulgarian Pepper and Cheese Casserole

7 c. minced green peppers (or substitute part chopped celery)
2 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms (we usually omit)
3 c. chopped onions
5-6 T. butter

1 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 t. marjoram
salt to taste

3 c. raw bulghar wheat soaked 15 min. in 3 c. boiling water
3 c. cottage cheese (if we don't have lots of homemade around, sometimes we reduce this amount greatly or substitue with some sour cream/plain yogurt, etc)
1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella
4 beaten eggs

Saute onions in butter til golden. Add peppers and mushrooms. Cook until peppers are just tender. Remove from heat. Add soy sauce, marjoram, and salt to taste to sauteed vegetables. Mix grated cheese with cottage cheese. In a greased 9x13 pan, spread bulghar, then cover with a layer of vegetables. Add mixed cheeses, spreading as evenly as possible. Pour beaten eggs over all and dust with paprika.
(If making ahead to freeze, cover with foil and freeze. To serve, thaw and bake for recommended time.)
Bake at 375 uncovered for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 min before serving.

This is a great meal to make ahead and keep in the freezer for busy days. It also doesn't require a lot of precise measuring. We usually make up several pans full at once and all of the amounts are approximate! You can also vary the vegetables and cheeses according to what you have on hand.