Sunday, May 04, 2008

Stuffed Green Peppers

We really can't believe that we haven't posted this recipe before - as we have made it many times! It all stems from a dish my Mom used to make that involved chopped up peppers and onions with ground beef, rice and a tomato sauce. We do like to stuff food, especially when you can eat the container it's served in! In the past we've stuffed acorn squash, chicken, pork chops - among other things - and tonight we shall stuff green bell peppers.

I must admit, I kinda cheated with this time because I did not make the rice part from scratch. Instead I used a box and a half of Rice-a-Roni Whole Grain Spanish Rice which saved time and tasted pretty good! So as this takes roughly 25 minutes, I started this first.

In another large pot, I brought some water up to boil in order to parboil our green peppers, from which I removed the tops and the inner membranes and seeds. Boil 4 peppers for 5-10 minutes until they are just fork tender, but not overcooked.

While all this was happening (many burners needed although if you are well prepared, trust me, it's not too chaotic!), I browned 1.25lbs ground turkey. After browned, I removed and began to sweat 1 medium diced onion over lowish heat for about 10 minutes. Then I added 15oz petite diced tomatoes and 8-16oz of tomato sauce depending on your tomato-y preferences. The turkey was added back along with a pinch of saffron, 1/2tbsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder (I had forgotten the fresh stuff), and 1 tsp Mexican oregano. Now I had made 2 boxes worth of the rice, but only added about 75% of what I had made... it just depends on how ricey you want this dish. After a stir, I gave it a taste and added salt and pepper to my liking.
Spoon the mixture into the peppers which are now in a 9 x 13" baking dish. Top it off with some shredded cheese and put into a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is starting to brown. Another option is to put chunks of cheese into the turkey rice mixture when you've taken it off the heat before spooning into the peppers... this way you'll have cheesey goodness all thoughout the pepper.

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