Thursday, July 23, 2009
Stuffed Green Peppers
I finally got to make the stuffed green peppers last night. I've been wanting to do them since I picked up two at the farmer's market last week. I was scared that they were going to go bad because we hadn't been able to do them (gotta love birthday weeks!). I guess that when they come straight off the farm, they last longer than when you get them from the store. They definitely look better! Before Rick came into my life, I wasn't as big of a fan of green peppers. I didn't hate them, but I often felt that they overpowered the meal. I've gotten over that, though, and I love them now!
I was searching the internet for recipe ideas when Rick came over. I was fairly certain about what I wanted to do, but I was unsure about cooking times once the peppers were stuffed. I opted to follow a recipe that had them cooking (once stuffed of course) for an hour at 350. Sounded good to me.
I browned around half a pound of lean ground beef with garlic and onions then mixed in salsa, cooked rice, and 2% sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. I thought it would be cool to use the rest of the salsa that I had gotten at the farmer's market instead of the traditional tomato sauce. Rick did the stuffing once the peppers were cleaned out, and we placed them in a baking dish. Somehow, I managed to make the perfect amount of stuffing! Into the oven they went! While they were in the oven, I opened the rest of the birthday presents that Rick had gotten me. He thinks that I peeked, but I swear I didn't!!!
About 20 minutes in, I added a little bit of salsa to the top of the peppers. When there was about 5 minutes left, I topped the peppers with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Because I was using the reduced fat cheese, it wasn't melting as nicely I was liked so I ended up broiling them for a few minutes at the end.
We were amazed at well they turned out, and Rick said that he was adding this dish to his list of favorites. We weren't sure how to start eating them so I halved them and topped each half with additional cheese. What can I say? I LOVE cheese!!!
Here's the recipe:
2 green bell peppers
Salsa of your choice
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup water
1/4 onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a sauce pan, cook rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let rice simmer for around 20 minutes.
While rice is simmering, brown beef along with garlic and onion in a medium skillet. Set aside when it is cooked.
Cut the tops off each green pepper and carefully remove them. Remove seeds and insides from the peppers. Discard the tops and insides. Rinse out the peppers with water and place them in a baking dish (open side up).
When the rice has finished cooking, mix rice, salsa (don't have an exact measurement for this--just go with however much you want), and cheeses (again, go with how much you'd like) into the skillet with the ground beef. Using a spoon, stuff each pepper to the top with this filling.
Place baking pan into the oven, and cook the peppers for 1 hour at 350 degrees. After 20 minutes, add salsa to the top of the peppers. When there are 5 minutes left, place additional cheese on top to melt.
When plating the peppers, add salsa to the plate around them and a little on top. Cut them in half and sprinkle cheese on top when served.