Stuffed Bell Peppers

3 May

Today’s photo comes with a recipe . . . and a review (of sorts).

This is a loose translation of the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers.  They were – decent.  Actually, the only other stuffed pepper I’ve eaten comes out of a box, out of the freezer section, and says Stouffers on the cover.  I don’t know why, but I expected these to have more flavor than they did. . . maybe something akin to the neon sauce in the frozen version, but a little more normal looking.   They did taste fresh, and I’m not about to toss the leftovers, and I suppose that has to count for something.  So, without further ado. . . my version of the recipe:

Stuffed Bell Peppers
Five bell peppers (green)
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves?)
1 c. shredded monterrey jack cheese
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (14 oz?) chopped tomatoes – juice reserved
1/4 c. Ketchup

First, you put on a large dutch oven full of water and bring it to a boil. While you are waiting half an hour for this much water to boil, cut off the top of each bell pepper, and remove all of the seeds and the core. Eventually, when the water boils, you’ll need to dunk the peppers in and boil them for about 4 minutes, or until they just begin to soften. Remember, they still need to be firm enough to hold the stuffing and sit upright in the pan.

Meanwhile, preheat a skillet, and add 1 tsp. of olive oil. Cook the chopped onion for about 10 minutes or until softened, but before it turns brown. Add in the ground meat and cook until done, breaking it down as it cooks. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne. I used about 1/4 tsp. of cayenne and would probably use a bit more next time.  Remove from heat and add tomatoes and cheese.  (You can also add cooked rice at this point if you like.)

Okay, after your bell pepper has boiled for a few minutes (took the water forever to boil, didn’t it?), pull them out, and drain the excess water off of the peppers.  Prop them up in your baking dish and fill with stuffing.  Next, mix the Ketchup and the reserved juice from the tomatoes.  It should be about 1/4 c. of tomato juice, maybe a bit more.  Spoon 2 T. of this mixture on top of each stuffed pepper, then sprinkle with more cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.  You may need to turn the broiler on for the last minute or so in order to turn the cheese golden and bubbly.  Voila. . . dinner in under 2 hours.  🙂  At least there’s enough for a few days, and if you doubled it, you wouldn’t have to look at your kitchen again for the rest of the week.

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