Saturday, December 11, 2010

stuffed peppers

One of my husband's most favorite meals is stuffed peppers. They're a little bit of work, but they're worth it...and it's a good make-ahead type meal.

I try to find 4 green bell peppers that are all relatively the same height and that stand fairly level on their own. I cut the tops off, core them, and rinse out the seeds, then they go top-down in the steamer for 5 minutes to soften. I remove them and set them aside in the casserole dish I'm going to bake them in, and then work on my filling. I use ground turkey in my filling, but it would work just as well with ground pork or beef, or even no meat at all. Sometimes I also add black beans, which is yummy as well. I usually use a large can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes in the filling, as well as a can of chopped tomatoes with their juices, and I use (pre-cooked) brown rice. Everything gets mixed together: meat, tomatoes, rice, along with some oregano and thyme, salt and pepper. I spoon the mixture into the peppers, and any extra filling I have, I spoon into the pan around the peppers to help hold them up as they bake. I sprinkle either some shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese on top of the stuffed peppers, and they bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. Sometimes they need a quick trip under the broiler to brown the cheese on top just before serving.