Monday, December 5, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

In my house we do stuffed peppers a lot.  They require a little bit of prep work, but they are hearty comfort food that still can be healthy.  I like to serve these gems with a light salad, or maybe some crusty bread in front of a good movie (cartoon, of course).  The kids even enjoy these because cooking the pepper a little brings down the sharp flavor.  So, let's get cooking:

  • 4 bell peppers (any color can be used)
  • 1 lb. ground beef (turkey or pork can also be used)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes (not drained)
  • 4 oz frozen corn
  • 1 c cooked white rice
  • 2 c mozzarella cheese, separated
  • kosher salt and pepper

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  First, let's take on the bell peppers.  What you want to do is cut the top off (just enough to take off the stem and create an open cavity).  Then, reach into the pepper and pull out all the seeds and as much of the veins as you can.  If you need to use a small knife to get more out just be careful not to cut yourself.  Now, in a small Pyrex dish arrange the peppers so they stand up straight.  You may have to shave a little off the bottom if one is uneven.  When I go to buy the peppers at the store I look for something that is pretty stable on it's own. 

2.  To make the filling, brown the meat in a hot skillet.  Add the chopped onion and saute about 3 minutes until soft.  Add the canned tomatoes and corn and simmer all together about 15 minutes.  The mixture will thicken a little, but don't let it get too dry.

You want to use "no salt"
so you are in control of how much salt is
in the finished product.

3.  Add the rice to the mixture and one cup of the cheese.  Season the filling with kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Then, with a large spoon, fill each bell pepper with as much of the mixture as you can stuff in there.  Top each pepper with a mound of the leftover cheese.  You should use about 1/4 cup for each pepper.  Add a small amount, about 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the Pyrex dish.  Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 30 min, or until nice and browned on top.  ENJOY!!

Side Note:  This meal can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the meat and adding more vegetables like maybe some spinach, or even eggplant.  

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