Wednesday, September 26, 2012

STUFFED PEPPERS WITH GROUND BEEF AND RICE


stuffed red peppers (2)

So hubby’s been complaining that I don’t make enough comfort food for him.  Our friend, Mary, sends him over stuffed peppers now and then, and he was wondering why I can’t make them, like I used to back in the day.  And to drive the point home,  he grew a batch of bell peppers this year that were stellar specimens.  As they turned red, I started roasting them.  But the peppers were growing faster than we could eat them.  So I decided to make him happy. 

Instead of using my old family favorite recipe, I searched the internet for a new idea.  A half batch (3 peppers) would be enough to try it out.  Look at these gorgeous peppers from our garden:

stuffed red peppers (3)
Green peppers will make a firmer shell for the stuffing, but red peppers are sweeter.  Just be sure not to overcook the peppers, whether they’re green or red. 

Now for Guy’s critique – he loved the flavor but prefers green peppers for their firmness.  He also doesn’t appreciate thick sauces, like this one, even though the taste was amazing.  I loved these and would have stopped searching, but he wanted stuffed green peppers, thin sauce, less rice.  Well we had plenty of peppers, so why not?  More posting to come.

In the meantime, if you like thick sauces, this is a great recipe, full of flavor.  I’m printing the full batch because you will want all six peppers.  And, P.S., they taste even better when reheated later in the week. 

Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef and Rice
Adapted from About.com Southern Food
Rating:  9/10

Click for PRINTABLE PAGE

INGREDIENTS:
6 sweet bell peppers, washed, tops cut off, seeds and membranes removed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
tops from peppers, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano (not Mexican)
1-3/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1-1/2 cups cooked Jasmine rice

Turn cut peppers upside down on paper towels to drain.  Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Saute onion, celery and peppers 5-10 minutes, till vegetables are tender.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring; add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, herbs, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Simmer about 10 minutes, till blended.  Cool.

In large mixing bowl, whisk egg with remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce.  Add beef, rice and 1 cup of the tomato mixture.  Mix well with hands or spoon.  Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish.  Pour remaining tomato mixture over peppers.  Bake, uncovered, at 350F for 40-50 minutes, or till thermometer inserted in center of peppers registers 135 – 140F.  Don’t overcook or peppers will be too soft.  Let peppers rest 10-15 minutes before serving.  Great with mashed potatoes.  Yield:  6 servings

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