Stuffed Peppers {Home Cooking}

{yum}

Take this recipe with a grain of salt. Or several teaspoonfuls (I just had to retype that from “teaspoonfulls” and “teaspoonsfull” until the squiggly red line went away). Salt is the simplest but arguably one of the most versatile and utilitarian seasonings to have in your kitchen. It helps bring out every flavor in your recipes and also, it’s AWESOME. I’m partial to the coarse Kosher variety. When I found this recipe, I knew they had it right.

My past stuffed pepper recipes were more interpretations and variations on the traditional pepper, and this surprisingly was my first attempt at the standard pepper.

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Recipe via Chow.com

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Uncooked rice, any kind, about 1/2 cup
4 bell peppers, any color or size, washed, 1/2 inch cut from the top, cores and ribs discarded
Butter
1 medium onion, chopped into sizes you like to eat
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 pound of ground meat
Worcestershire sauce
Some form of tomato: chopped fresh, canned (small can oughta do it), tomato sauce, even ketchup
Salt
Pepper
1 egg
Grated cheese

1. Cook the rice as usual.

2. While that’s cooking, start water boiling in a pot big enough to hold your four peppers. Stir in enough salt to make it as salty as seawater, at least a tablespoon per four quarts.

3. When the water boils, dump in your peppers. Let them sit until they’re just starting to get soft, about three minutes. Remove them from the water with tongs and let the peppers drain in a colander while you prepare the filling.

4. Put a big knob of butter (two tablespoons? a little more?) into a pan and heat over medium high. When the butter foams, tip in the onions and cook until soft, a couple of minutes. Shake some salt over them.

5. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant.

6. Stir in the meat and cook until it’s no longer pink. Salt the living hell out of it, and chuck Worcestershire on it until it tastes good to you. (Don’t be weirded out about eating lightly cooked meat, ya big baby.)

{mmm meat!}

7. Put the meat in a bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Stir in the rice. Stir in whatever tomato form you’re using until the mixture looks nice and moist and juicy. Taste for salt—you want this thing good and salty, so go nuts. Put some pepper on there too. Taste it again. Hey, that’s not bad. Maybe you’ll eat lunch right here over the sink.

8. Crack the egg on top of the meat and rice and stir it up good.

{ready for the oven}

9. Sprinkle salt all over the peppers, inside, outside; stand them up in a 9-inch square baking dish.

10. Using a soup spoon, squish the stuffing into the peppers, making sure to pack it in tightly. I despise cheese but there are people who seem to like it, so if you are one of them, throw your grated cheese over the top now. Yuck. You just ruined it, but OK.

{peppers! note the tons of salt}

11. Bake at 350°F for a half-hour or until the peppers have gone pleasingly wrinkly all over and your cheese is bubbly.

Stuffed peppers freeze and travel well, so make a double or triple batch and keep them in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag. Need lunch? Pull one out and microwave until hot, about 8 minutes if your microwave is of the same wattage as mine, whatever that is.

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