Monday, February 21, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

We never once had stuffed peppers for dinner when I was growing up. Never. Ever. The first time I ever saw a stuffed pepper was in the college dining center, and lots of friends commented on how much they dreaded it when their moms announced that they'd be having stuffed peppers for dinner. So...I'm not exactly sure what posessed me to try stuffed peppers in the first place! We've had them several times (one version is posted here), and this is my favorite recipe. I like that this one doesn't have any tomatoes, and I love the cornmeal topping!

This meal is really quite simple to put together, but there's a lot of preparation involved, most of which is chopping. (And by the way, if you have a good, sharp knife, it makes prep time a lot less tedious! Always remember, a dull knife is a dangerous knife.) There's also rice to prepare. What I'm telling you is this: this is not a quick meal to throw together. Don't even attempt it on a night that you're super-busy or super-tired. Save it for a day when you have plenty of time, and it will be well worth it. The leftovers heat up beautifully, and lots of times I have filling left over. When that happens, I portion it into ramekins, add the cornmeal topping, and bake. That way I have little pre-portioned lunches to just grab out of the fridge. And a bonus: it's healthy, too!

Stuffed Peppers
Adapted slightly from Heather's Website
4 medium green bell peppers
8 oz. lean ground beef
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning (I use Cavender's)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (I use the whole thing)
1 tbs. chopped parsley leaves
2 tbs. plain cornmeal
2 tbs. grated parmesan
4 tsp. canola oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook brown rice.
Cut off the top quarter of each bell pepper and reserve. Scoop the seeds and veins out from the inside of each pepper and discard. Set bell pepper shells aside. Removed and discard the stems from each bell pepper top. Dice enough of the bell pepper tops to make 1/2 cup. Set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, and celery. Saute for 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning. Cook for about 1 imnute. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions and parsley. Season the insides of each bell pepper shell with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the rice mixutre into the bell peppers.
In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal and cheese. Season with a pinch of Greek seasoning and mix well. Sprinkle the crust over each pepper. Top each crust with 1 tsp. of canola oil and place the peppers into an 8-inch baking dish or pan. Add just enough water to cover the bottom, about 1/3 cup. Bake for 25-30 inutes, or until the tops are crust and brown and the filling is warmed through. Serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. You never had stuffed peppers when you were growing up because your mother HATES stuffed peppers! Glad you like them though.


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