Friday, October 28, 2016

Stuffed Bell Peppers

What can I say about this iconic. Americana, comfort food dish except that it's hearty, delicious, and nutritious (rice, meat, cheese & veggies seem to cover most of the major food groups). I'm partial to green bell peppers and prefer them on the softer side, but feel free to substitute and/or use red, orange, yellow bells or any combination thereof, and cook them to the doneness according to your own liking.

8 green (or any combo of green, red, orange and yellow) bell peppers
12 cups (3 quarts) water
1 tbsp. kosher salt

1 cup long grain rice

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (and a little extra for topping)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried

1. Add 12 cups (3 quarts) water to a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Add 1 tbsp. of salt to the water and stir to combine.

2. Cut the top 1/2" off of the tops of each bell pepper; using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and membranes from the insides of each pepper.

3. Place the peppers into the boiling salted water and boil for about 3 minutes or until the peppers just start to soften. Feel free to adjust - I don't like my stuffed peppers too crispy, so I like to parboil them until they are a tad past al dente.

4. Remove the peppers with tongs to a paper towel-lined platter or baking sheet and let drain (reserve the cooking water from the pan).

5. Add 6 cups of the reserved pepper cooking water to a smaller pan and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of long grain rice and boil 10-12 minutes, uncovered, or until tender. Drain any excess water and remove the rice to a bowl; set aside.

6. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions until they just start to brown. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

7. Add the garlic and stir-fry 20-30 seconds until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked rice, canned diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. kosher salt, ketchup, and parsley.

8. Place the peppers into a baking dish. Fill each pepper with the rice-beef filling. Top each filled pepper with 1 tbsp. of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

9. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake the peppers, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until browned and heated through.

 Cut the caps off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes.

 Parboil the peppers in salted water until they just start to soften.

 Remove the peppers to a paper towel-lined platter or baking sheet.

 Cook the rice in 3 quarts of salted boiling water.

 When done, drain the rice and set aside.

 Chopped garlic, onion, and diced canned tomatoes.

 Saute the onions in 2 tbsp. of olive oil.

 Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

 Add the minced garlic.

 Canned diced tomatoes and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

 Add the rice, shredded cheese, canned diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, ketchup and parsley.

 Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture and top each with shredded cheese.

 Bake 25-30 minutes, uncovered, or until bubbling, browned and heated through.


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