Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recipe Wednesday - Stuffed Peppers

Firstly, I've been a bit sick the last couple of days so there haven't been any posts.  Currently, I'm feeling much better, but this morning my head was pounding and very cloudy feeling and I was pretty achy.  I decided to take the day off and try to get better.  It seems to have worked because I'm feeling pretty good right now.  Good enough even to make some Orange-Spiced Banana Muffins while my wife is off at a Bible study!



Here are the mutts thinking that they'd like to do some preliminary taste tests before they go into the oven.  (Sorry for the blurry picture.  I had batter all over my hands, while taking this one handed, with my phone because the camera is...well, who knows where)



These however will not be the recipe of the week, though they do smell amazing in the oven right now.  Instead, today's recipe will be something I made on Monday night.  Stuffed Peppers!

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers that can stand up straight and are pretty wide
  • 1lb. ground sausage
  • 3 cups of cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cups of sliced fresh button mushrooms 
  • 1 cup of tomato, pasta, or pizza sauce. (any will work)
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • Anything else you may have extra that you need to get rid of. In our case, we had some diced green pepper  from pizza on Friday so stuff peppers into peppers (something seems so wrong with that.)
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella

Brown the sausage.  Get the rice cookin'.  Drain the sausage.  Using the same pan, put a few tablespoons of olive oil in to warm up and then add in the mushrooms, garlic, diced peppers (or your misc. veggies), etc.  Get that cooked down a little bit and then put the sausage back in.  Mix it all together and by now the rice is probably done.  Mix in the rice and then the tomato sauce.  You can keep that on a low heat while you cut the tops off the peppers and clean out all the seeds and pulpy stuff.  Once the peppers are cleaned out, start stuffing with the meat and rice mixture.  You can just use a regular spoon to do this as you'll want to make sure that the mixture gets pushed into all the corners of the peppers.  Once it's about 3/4 of the way full, I make a little indentation and then stuff a heaping tablespoon's worth of the shredded mozzarella in and then continue filling up the pepper until it's mounded a little on top.  Repeat until all the peppers are full.

Place peppers in a 8x8 or 9x9 glass pan or whatever you have that they'll fit in.  We have this oval Pyrex dish that's 8x10 and 3 inches high that works perfect for this.  Once you get them in the dish, put about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pan, grind some pepper on the tops of the peppers, drizzle with olive oil, cover them in foil and put them into the middle shelf of a 425 degree, preheated oven.  These will cook for 20-30 minutes and you'll know they are done basically by looking at them.  I had them in at 350 for 20 minutes, but then realized that the oven probably needed to be hotter so I turned it up to 425 for another 20 minutes.  I think you'll be good with 425 for 20-30 though as they were pretty much done when the oven finally preheated up to 425 from 350. Take a look at the peppers and if the water has started to turn a little green and the peppers are starting to get a deeper, browner shade of green then they are done.  Take the foil off, sprinkle the tops of the peppers with the remaining mozzarella and put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown. Yum!

Since I was a little under the weather on Monday, my brain was a cloudy so I didn't think to take any pictures.  I wish I would have because they were beautiful just out of the oven!  The tops were perfectly golden brown with the cheese.  The stuffing was perfect.  It maintain perfect structure inside the peppers once it was cut in half.  It was like opening up a sandwich, with a yummy, melted cheese pocket!  Instead, you get a picture from Tuesday's lunch.  Still looks and tasted amazing, but just not as visually wonderful.


I've made stuffed peppers a few times before, but they were perfect this time, and I very rarely say anything I make is perfect.  I think my wife will agree on both of those points. 

I hope you make them.  I hope you enjoy them.  They are a main course and side dish all in one!

As for tonight, I think I'll go get a muffin and join Webster as we both wait for Lynette:



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