Stuff Your Own…Stuffed Pepper!

I had an urgent craving for stuffed peppers this past weekend and thought they would be nice for Sunday family dinner. I have never made them before but they seemed simple enough and I thought they have such potential to be delicious. Keeping things on the healthy side, I used a short brown rice instead of white rice. I debated what kind of stuffed peppers to make…I thought about the endless options, depending on the flavors you use. The peppers can be adapted to a Spanish version (ancho chili powder, manchego cheese stuffed in a poblano pepper) or Greek (with feta, olives and ground lamb or chicken) etc. Think about your favorite ingredients. Stuff your own!

Ingredients:

  • 8 Bell Peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups Short brown rice
  • Fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2lb Ground Beef, 1/2lb Ground Veal, 1/2lb Ground Pork
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Cheese (a mixture of fresh grated parmesan, shredded mozzarella and provolone any Italian cheeses will do)

Directions:

  • Cook the brown rice according to directions. I recommend adding chicken broth for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Saute onions and garlic and add salt, pepper and fresh chopped basil. After they get translucent, add the beef. Make sure you mash-up the meat (you can use a potato masher) to ground it up well.
  • Add some chopped tomatoes, a splash of tomato sauce, salt & pepper to the saute pan. Mix all together well and let sit off the heat to let the flavors meld while the rice cooks. You can add some more fresh chopped basil (or even parsley) at this point.
  • Pour the contents into a big bowl with the rice and add some parmesan cheese. Mix together and stuff your peppers.
  • Top each pepper with a spoonful of sauce and cheese. Put extra sauce in the bottom of the pan with a few more basil leaves. Bake in the oven at 350 until the sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted. Take the tinfoil off for the last ten minutes or so to let the cheese brown.
Eat and pair with a nice class of Italian red wine. Enjoy!

FYI- These are even better the next day! My dad took a leftover pepper, cut it in half and topped it with a poached egg. Mmm mmm delicious!!

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