I haven't been cooking very much lately. With everything I've got on my plate, unfortunately the things I enjoy the most seem to be getting pushed aside :(
The recipe is for Stuffed Peppers. Now, I will be the first to admit that the idea of stuffed peppers has always made me gag a little bit. My mother made these when I was growing up. The peppers were always soggy, there was always a bunch of ketchup in the meat (I abhor ketchup), and most of the time I just moved everything around on my plate hoping my parents would think I had eaten.
It wasn't that my mother was not good at cooking, because she was. It's just that I'm not a fan of peppers, or onions, or ketchup or....well, you get the point.
So TEN sends this recipe and my first response is to gag a little bit. But then I thought "T, your taste buds have really grown in the last year. You are eating many things you would never have considered in the past. Perhaps you should give this a try?" And so.....I did.
I'm pleased to announce that the peppers were NOT soggy. We did not use ketchup. And I enjoyed EVERY BITE :)
Now, get your pen and paper and I'll tell you how to make these tasty peppers!
Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef, Rice & Cheese
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
· 6 green bell peppers
· 1 tablespoons butter
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1/2 cup chopped onion
· 1/2 cup chopped celery
· 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
· 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
· 1 clove garlic, crushed
· 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
· 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
· 2 teaspoons salt, divided
· 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
· 1 egg, lightly beaten
· 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
· 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck
· 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
· shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional
**A couple of things. DO NOT brown the ground beef. The recipe doesn't specify that, and we wondered, but you do not cook the ground beef ahead of time. Also if you happen to forget to pick up the 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (like we did), and you happen to have a can of diced tomatoes with chilies added....you can puree that in the Cuisinart to make tomato sauce. And you end up adding a little bit of spice too!
Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Chop edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped green pepper (from tops), chopped onion, and chopped celery for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish.
Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes. If desired, top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before peppers are done; bake until cheese is melted.
Recipe for stuffed peppers serves 6.
I cannot tell you how pleasantly surprised I was. We definitely added more cheddar cheese to the tops of the peppers than was called for, AND...we ate them in a bowl with chips and sour cream. Just to be different :)