Our friend, Mary, sends stuffed peppers to Guy occasionally, so I asked her for her recipe. Trouble is, Mary doesn’t have a recipe. She’s one of those spontaneous cooks that I admire greatly. She did her best, though, to write a recipe down for me, but some of the ingredients were a bit obscure, like “seasonings such as those used in meatloaf.” After I made these and plated them, we both realized that Mary’s peppers do not have slices of tomatoes in the broth. Maybe she purees the tomato slices from the canned stewed tomatoes and adds them to the meat mixture. Well, no matter, these were still delicious, and we enjoyed them. Guy got his thin sauce, and he liked these better than my first attempt.
What I like about this recipe is that the peppers are cooked on top of the stove rather than in the oven. Any time I can save electricity by keeping the oven off, I gladly do it (our electric rates are ridiculously high.) Mary's recipe is for 6 peppers but I only had 5 peppers, so I did some quick math to adapt ingredient amounts.
|Mary’s Stuffed Peppers, adapted |
Rating: 9 out of 10
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5 large green peppers, tops, membranes and seeds removed
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion (3/4 to 1 cup), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic (1 tsp.), grated or minced
1-1/4 lbs. ground beef
1 tsp. Morton kosher salt
2/3 cup cooked Jasmine rice
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium beef broth
Enough tomato juice to almost cover peppers
1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup coarsely chopped green pepper (from tops)
Rinse peppers and place, upside down, on paper towels to drain. In large saute pan, cook onion in oil over medium heat till onion is transparent and wilted, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool; set aside.
When onions are cool, add ground beef, salt, rice and herbs. (If desired, remove slices of tomatoes from can of stewed tomatoes, and puree or smash with fingers or fork, then add to meat mixture.) Mix lightly but thoroughly. Stuff peppers but do not pack tightly.
In soup pot or dutch oven, combine stewed tomatoes and broth. Add peppers and enough tomato juice to almost cover them. Sprinkle with pieces of onion and pepper.
Cook over medium—high heat till liquids boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or till meat mixture registers 135-140F. Do not overcook or peppers will be mushy. Remove peppers from liquid and place in serving bowls. Ladle liquid over and around peppers. Yield: 5 servings