“Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable.”
- Ina Garten, 'The Barefoot Contessa'
So a few days ago I made some very tasty stuffed peppers for dinner and posted a few pictures on Facebook and Twitter along the way. Apparently, this had a few peoples' mouths watering and and requests for the recipe started coming in. Especially from my friend Heather (Here ya go sweetie! Oh...and - shout out! - check out her new blog Life is but a Stage here!)
OK then. So welcome to Lora Rossi Living. Today we will be making my recipe which I made up as I went along - for Yummy Stuffed Peppers! It's a good thing.
|Martha would love these peppers.|
Yes...this is Martha Stewart. I know, right!???!
So, first you take as many Green Peppers as you want to make. I usually do six, but if you have a larger casserole dish - or maybe you have two - you can make 2000 for all I care. Invite the whole neighbourhood over...I bet you will make several new friends! ;)
Cut the tops off and put aside. Then empty out the middle gunk and the white crap to form a cup out of the pepper. Rinse.
Boil a large pot of water and put the peppers in so they are covered with the water and let boil for about 10 minutes. Then take the peppers out making sure the water is drained out of them and place in a large, deep casserole dish - kinda like in this picture. Season the inside with salt and pepper.
Now, here is where you can get creative. The main ingredients for a stuffed pepper like this is rice and tomato sauce. I do mine a variety of ways depending on what I have on hand, but for these ones, I mix the rice with my chili. So...let's start to make that. This can be simmering as you are working away on your pepper prep as outlined above. (And this is how I make chili. Actually I make chili many different ways too...depending on what I have on hand...and you can use your recipe...but here is my main one! And of course, if you do not eat meat...add some extra beans! They are good for your heart!)
|This is what my husband wears when he eats my stuffed peppers.|
In a large pot of sauce pan, heat up a few tablespoons of some canola, vegetable, coconut, whatever, oil. Then add a pound or two of ground beef or turkey or whatever and some chopped onion, chopped celery, a little chopped garlic and some of the leftover green pepper lids - chopped up! (I usually put the rest of the leftover lids in the freezer for the next time I make chili or something that calls for a little green pepper. I hate waste.)
Let cook on med-high heat stirring regularly for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked. If you want to drain the fat at this point, go for it! That is better for your heart too!
Then add a few large cans of tomatoes (or you can add fresh ones if you have), some chili powder (I use about 1/3 cup...but you can add more or less depending on how spicy you and your family like things) and about 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and turn down heat and let simmer for about an hour, stirring every little bit. This is what mine looked like at the simmering stage:
Then take 2 cans on beans - I use red kidney here, but you can use any bean really - and you can use the dried ones and cook 'em...I just take the easy route! - and rinse them of the gunky liquid - and pour them in and stir it up! Here is what mine looked like:
|"Beans, beans, thy're good for your heart! The more ya eat, the more ya...."|
More bathroom humour...Oh little boys!
Now, while the chili is simmering, make some rice! You can make white rice, brown rice (healthier people!), long grain rice, whatever. I must admit that I used Uncle Ben's Instant Rice. (Because Alice from The Brady Bunch told me that it would be ready in FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE minutes. And she wasn't jokin').
|Is it me, or does Ann B. Davis look like she could be Ellen's Mom?|
I know I am lazy, but actually, I am sorta, kinda busy, so really, I am not. I do what I gotta do peeps. Sue me. I cooked up 6 servings. I had a bit left over cause my kids like plain rice.
Once the rice is done and you have done the ceremonious "fluffing of the rice with the fork", then add some of your chili to the rice and mix 'er up! It really does not matter how much of each...do it until is tastes good to you. I like to have enough chili leftover to make another meal. I usually freeze the rest. See? How cool is that!? And don't get me started on all the things you can make with chili!!!
Then, fill up your peppers, packing them up pretty good, until they are nice and full. Then I usually pour a little extra chili on top. Mine looked like this:
Then grate some cheese on top. Or not if you don't like cheese (in which case you have a serious problem), or if you don't eat cheese (cool) or if you can't eat cheese (if you are lactose intolerant like my Mom, try goat cheese!). Personally, I think pretty much anything savoury tastes better with cheese. I use a simple, old cheddar and I like a nice portion on each (even though I am trying to lose weight). Mine looked like this:
|A day without cheese is like a day without sunshine.|
Then it is time for the piece de resistance (I know that is French and has an accent somewhere but I don't have time for that)....the breadcrumbs! Oh how I love breadcrumbs! So...take some breadcrumbs...you can make your own by grating some crusty bread - stale is good...just not moldy peeps - or you can use the store-bought kind like I did (see my comment above about the canned beans and the rice...sue me again!). The kind I used here have Italian herbs and some grated Parmesan in it. I told ya, I like me some cheese.
Put some - about 2 tbsps - butter or margarine (I used butter) in a micro-safe dish (I use a coffee mug) and melt for about 30 - 60 seconds until very soft. If you don't have or want to use a microwave I am sure you know how to do it on the stove. Then add the breadcrumbs. Add them and stir until it is a nice "crumby" consistency. Then add to the top of each pepper. Mine looked like this:
I know you are getting excited now right? So while you are doing the breadcrumb thang, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees (where is that little degrees sign on my keyboard???) and put in the oven, covered, for about 20 minutes. Then take the lid off (don't burn yourself like I did!) and put back in for 5-7 minutes so the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Mine looked like this, fresh out of the oven:
Then they are ready to serve! I like to add a little sour cream on the side, but you can do whatever you like.
|Dinner is served!|
They taste great the next day and the day after that. I had one two nights ago. I had one last night. I will probably have another tonight unless my husband finishes them off because he really likes them! If you have extra, a sick or busy friend will thank you.
|"Lora's Stuffed Peppers are so yummy. Here, I brought you some lovely flowers for your table from my garden. Now can I have one please?"|
There you have it peeps! Enjoy!
(And don't forget to invite me over for dinner when you try 'em!)