Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers
I wanted to try and jazz up my stuffed peppers recipe, and after searching for inspiration, I decided to go with my traditional plan. This recipe was once my mom’s, but I now consider it my own since I have tweaked, added, and omitted various ingredients. Here’s the gist…
4 large bell peppers
1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or chicken
1 cup cooked white or brown rice (so 1/2 cup dry)
2 cloves garlic, minced
I large white onion, diced
Sprinkling of Italian seasonings (fresh or dried herbs work fine)
Salt and pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese
2-3 cups of red sauce
Thin slices of provolone or mozzarella
I had ground sirloin on hand, and since we haven’t had red meat in a while, I went for it. But, I have made this with ground turkey and with ground chicken, and all of the above are delicious! I started browning the meat in a pan on the stove. While it was browning, I rinsed and sliced the tops off of 4 large peppers. I usually use green, but since I had sliced up a green pepper for my husband’s lunch, I used 3 green and one orange! Colorful, I liked it! I took at the seeds and extra “stuff” out of the peppers and placed them in a baking dish that had a thin coating of water on the bottom (This prevents the peppers from sticking, and also helps to keep them moist).
Once the meat was on its way, I added seasoning. I sprinkled in some of Trader Joe’s Pasta seasoning and also added some fresh thyme and parsley, along with salt and fresh ground pepper, of course. I preheated the oven to 375 and minced some garlic and grated some parmesan. I also had some instant brown rice working in a pot on the stovetop, cooking with one beef bullion cube. (I would have done regular brown rice, but I had forgotten to prepare it, and it takes 45 freakin minutes!)
Once the meat was browned, I drained the fat and returned to pan. I added the onions, garlic, and one egg (as a binder, although you could omit this if you would like). Once that had a few minutes to come together, I added 1 cup of red sauce (I had some frozen in the freezer, use homemade or jarred). At the last minute, I added in the rice and parm cheese.
I spooned the mixture into the peppers, and topped with more red sauce and some grated cheese. I had cut out the stems from the tops of the peppers, and placed back on top of the peppers. I baked for 25-30 minutes.
I placed some extra sauce on the bottom of the dish, and placed the peppers on top. I cut in half, and topped with a slice of provolone cheese (you could also use mozzarella). I then topped with more sauce, and viola! Time to eat!