This has been our best year ever when it comes to growing sweet peppers. I've been leaving the green peppers on the vine and letting them get red. I love having sweet red peppers free from my garden, instead of paying whatever ridiculous price the grocery store sells them for. They've been plentiful and big and sweet. Alas, October is here, and it's getting cool outside. There isn't enough time to let the peppers hang on the bush until they get red. So today, we picked all of them, 9 total.
One of them is too flat on one side to qualify for stuffed pepper status. It'll be a snack for me this week, or put into a salad.
Stuffed peppers. I have never made one that tasted good. They've been edible, but not what you're looking for when you're craving stuffed peppers. Stouffer's is better and more consistent than my many attempts. I will never give up, though. I can't see eating a processed sodium bomb when surely I can make a decent stuffed pepper.
One thing I learned as I browsed recipes today is that I probably should have been cooking the rice for the stuffing first. I've tried raw rice, crushed up crackers, bread crumbs, bread soaked in milk, corn flakes - you name it, I've tried using it in my stuffed peppers.
Here is the recipe I'm attempting today. I did my usual - read 5-6 recipes, then take what I wanted from them.
Stuffed PeppersServes 8
8 bell peppers
3 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1.5 pound ground beef
3 cups cooked yellow rice (prepared with butter, no salt)
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 t Kosher salt
1/2 t black pepper
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce (I used Hunts no salt added)
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds and ribs. If they won't stand up, cut off a little of the bottom to try and even them out. (I just wedged them into the pan)
Brush outside of peppers with olive oil (I just rubbed a little bit on them)
In a medium frying pan, heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat
Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes
Crumble ground beef into pan and cook, stirring to break up lumps, until it loses its pinkness
Drain the fat
Add the cooked rice, parsley, cheese, salt, and pepper to the ground beef/onion mixture
Lightly beat the egg and pour over, then mix everything together well
Stuff the peppers with the filling, mounding top slightly
Place peppers in baking dish (whatever size will hold them)
Mix tomato sauce and water, and pour into dish, over and around the peppers
Drizzle with 1 T olive oil
Bake for 45 minutes
Here are some pictures of the process
|Cleaned Peppers |
|Yellow Rice, with Leftovers|
I had a bag of yellow rice in the pantry that I was planning to cook with shrimp, peas and ham. Instead, I will do the shrimp, peas and ham over spaghetti squash later this week.
|I use a wok for stuff like this.|
|Mix everything together|
|Stuff the peppers|
|Pour tomato sauce/water over the peppers, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 45 minutes|
They tasted great - but the peppers weren't cooked through.
We both ate one; I ate the partially-raw pepper, but Greg threw his away and just ate the stuffing. While we ate them, I put a lid on the pan and put them back in the oven for 20 minutes. That STILL wasn't quite enough time!
Some recipes said to par-boil the peppers. I though since mine were only minutes out of the garden, they wouldn't need par-boiling. The main recipe I copied from said nothing about pre-cooking them at all. Sigh. Still and all, these came out tasting great, and we have 4 left over for another night.