Friday, June 17, 2011

stuffed peppers

I loved I came to loving them I haven't figured out yet.  I was a serious vegetable hater as a child. Ok, I'll confess that it was even through most of my adult life.  It wasn't until I hit my forties that something clicked in my brain and suddenly that flavor bud turned on!  There are still some veggies I just don't care for (cooked cabbage, blech!) but I'm much more adventurous in my tastes these days.

That being said, my mother and I are the only pepper lovers in the house.  So when I make stuffed peppers I have to make the men unstuffed meals.  This recipe will stuff six peppers.  Obviously, I only stuff two and the guys the stuffing with other things to fill their tummy.

Stuffed Peppers
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice or brown rice (both work for me, just adapt the cooking time if you use brown rice)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 bell peppers   which variety is up to you.... I like to use the red or yellow bell peppers
2(8 ounce cans) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound ground beef  
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Rice recipes vary, so follow your package directions.  With my long grain rice, I have to bring the 1 cup water to a boil and add the rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, I put together the beef mixture for the stuffing. In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion.  Just before the meat is done, I add the minced garlic.  When meat is nicely browned, remove the meat from the pan and let drain on a paper towel.
Remove and discard the tops, seeds and membranes of the bell peppers.  Arrange pepper in a baking dish with the hollow end sides facing up.  You may have to slice a bit of the bottom of, being careful not to remove so much that you make a hole in the pepper, so peppers stand up right.
In a bowl, mix together the drained browned beef and cooked rice. Combine tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce; remove 1/2 for topping on peppers.  Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste... always taste it first to see if more salt is needed.  Spoon in meat filling into each hollowed out pepper and top each pepper with the remaining tomato sauce mixture.
Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350 degree F. oven.  Peppers should still have a bit of texture to them and not be "mushy."
As an added note, some of the time I leave out one can of the tomato sauce and do not put any sauce on top of my peppers leaving them "naked." I add just one can of tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture, stuff and bake.

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