For some reason, I can’t stand green bell peppers. Baked, fried, however you want to prepare them — I think they’re disgusting. For a long time, I thought the same applied to all bell peppers. Hot peppers are great, but bell peppers? Then I started getting into cooking, and I realized a lot of the things I wanted to make called for peppers. I could omit them, I rationalized, but if I did, I might miss the intended flavor of the meal. So, on a whim, I decided to give red peppers a shot. And I liked them. I found the same went for orange and yellow, as well. (Likewise, my previous distaste for onions led to the discovery that I do like vidalia and other sweet varieties, as well as shallots.)
Because the recipe calls for cooked rice, stuffed peppers are a great way to use up leftover. Or, if you’re preparing rice for another meal, cook up a little extra and plan ahead for stuffed peppers.
Stuffed Red Peppers
- 4 red bell peppers (or whatever color you prefer!)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb of lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 c cooked rice
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese, plus some to top
- Stem, core and seed peppers (save the tops, minus the stems.) Place in a pot of boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes, until the color gets very vivid and the pepper is slightly but not totally soft. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Chop up reserved pepper tops. Over medium heat, sauté chopped peppers, garlic and onions in oil until soft. Add meat oregano and cook until mostly done. Mix together with tomatoes, rice and cheese.
- Stuff par-boiled peppers with the mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese (or ketchup!) and add 1/4 inch of water to the baking dish (I use the hot water from par-boiling the peppers, so it’s already nice and hot.) Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until parmesan starts to brown.