Friday, June 17, 2011

Stuff 'em baby

Stuffed peppers were a staple in my mothers dinner menu for the week. After she passed away, my father picked up from where she left off, ever so slightly changing the recipe. Now that he has departed as well, I have picked up where they both left off and stepped up the Stuffed Pepper game.

This is a super easy dinner to make. It's tasty, can be adapted to any number of eating habits (i.e., veggie, lowfat, etc) and you can change it around to suit your tastes as well.

In light of the last statement, I'm going to only post the basic recipe, but I'll throw in suggestions along the way.

Roasted Stuffed Peppers


6 bell peppers (any color you desire or mix n' match)
1 lb. ground meat (optional)
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 cup of cooked rice (not minute rice, actual long grain rice, cooked per instructions)
1/2 jar (8 oz) Pace picante sauce
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. seasoned salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. basil
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1/4 cup red cooking wine or sherry
Cheese of your choosing
Olive Oil for roasting


1. If you are using ground meat of any kind, cook in a deep skillet first, drain and place back in the skillet.

2. Slice off just the top of the pepper so that it acts as a lid.

3. Clean out the peppers of any excess greenery and seeds.

4. Rub peppers and lids with olive oil inside and out and place on a baking sheet.

5. Place in the oven on the middle rack on low broil for 5-7 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary, make sure to start checking at the 3 minute mark. You don't want to burn the peppers, just brown/blacken them in places to soften them and bring out the sweet pepper taste. ***NOTE*** you will have to turn the peppers every couple of minutes as they get the browned/blackened coloring on them, the lids as well.

6. Place the remaining ingredients into the skillet except the cheese (with or without your meat) and bring to a slight boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently to not burn.

***suggestion*** step 6 would be where you would add any spices, veggies, or other items to the sauce that you would like to incorporate. I have done onion, mushroom, carrot slivers, zucchini dices...the options are endless.

7. Once the peppers are finished roasting in the oven, let them cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°.

9. Place the peppers into a deep casserole or baking dish. If your dish is too large, you can ball up tin foil to place between the peppers so they do not fall over during the baking process.

10. Place the stuffing from the skillet into each pepper. My method, so as not to break the peppers or overstuff them, is to place a large spoonful into each pepper, pack down slightly, then repeat that step until all the peppers are full. Once the peppers are full, add one "top it off" spoonful to each pepper.

11. Top each pepper with your cheese, making sure to completely cover the pepper.

***suggestion*** Most people would just slap a slice of american cheese on the peppers here. I have used smoked gouda, various cheddars, provolone (this one is hit or miss) and various other cheeses or you can choose to not add cheese at all.

12. Place the peppers into the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and starting to bubble and turn brown.

13. LET THEM COOL before attempting to eat. They will be SUPER hot!!!

Buon appetito!
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