Rainbow of stuffed peppers – 18 April 2019

Last Saturday’s WFD was stuffed peppers, and they use leftover rice, of which we had a bunch. So, why not? But I didn’t use the presented recipe b/c I would have had to buy pork as well as defrosting and then using only half of a Costco aliquot of hamburger. So I tooled about online a bit, and found a nice-looking, simple recipe, and let it lead me into what to do, though I didn’t follow it completely.

I bought four peppers, so as to see whether they worked very differently: red, green, yellow, and orange. They were smaller than average (carefully chosen for size, as well as stand-up-ability – which turned out not to matter) but not itty or anything. For the record, I didn’t find them strikingly different from each other, but D definitely liked the yellow pepper the best. I cut off the centers of the tops, such that the sides came up and then turned inward just a bit.I used a knife (carefully!), a spoon, and tongs to remove the seeds and (more challengingly) the ribs from the peppers.

I defrosted 1/2 lb of hamburger and browned it in a splash of olive oil, salting with 1/2 tsp salt at the beginning. I added onions – the rest of the half-onion I cut up last night and didn’t use (it must have been 1/3 to 1/2 cup) – and continued to cook till the onions were soft, at some point adding in the cut up bits of the tops of the four peppers. I opened a can of Costco diced tomatoes, and an oldie (but, so far, goodie) can of Costco corn. I semi-drained the tomatoes with a spoon, and put 1/2 cup of them into the pan. I put 1/4 cup of corn into the pan. I measured out 1 cup of the rice (by halves – but it was clear 1/2 cup wasn’t enough – good thing – there’s a lot of rice!) and added it. I thought that looked like quite a bit, and that I’d use less than half of it, but the peppers are larger than they look – alsmot all this stuffing went into them! I forgot to add some grated Monterey Jack, which would have helped hold the stuffing together, but for flavor it was not needed. Maybe 1/2 cup next time, if we do this again? The issue was splitting the peppers in half so each of us could sample all four colors. The filling had no integrity, so kinda tended to spill. But it really did taste good. This is a fine way to use up rice! Tomorrow’s dinner will use the rest: Baked Garden Vegetables from California Fresh. [Added 26 April: I see we had a new Acme Pain au Levain.]

D asked what wine would go, and I said a good, basic red. He certainly found one – Epicuro Salice Salentino (2016) from Trader Joe’s, which sells for an incredibly low price. Good wine. During dinner, D allowed as how one might try a white with this dinner due to the sweetness of the peppers, but I am not convinced. But what the heck, why not try it? D asked how our resident WFD vegetarian used to stuff her peppers, and I said lentils, and that got him thinking of other stuffings, so perhaps we will have more of these. It was really quite an easy dinner. One thing I would change would be to have the peppers themselves cook better, and I saw an idea about this on foodiecrush, the third link below. She salted the insides of the peppers and microwaved 5 minutes to pre-soften them, then cut the oven time to 15020 minutes. I’d also like to try them cooked in more of a sauce outside, as well as the stuffing inside.

Didn’t try this one but sounds good, and has different cooking ideas.

This one, also untried, has sauce under and around the peppers – more like a casserole, it seems. Says 945 of stuffed peppers are made b/c there is leftover rice around 🙂

This seems like something I should do, b/c the peppers, especially the bottoms, which were snugged up inside the baking dish, were not cooked as much as I’d like. From this foodiecrush link: “I pre-cook my peppers with a simple sprinkle of kosher salt to the interior of the peppers and then a 5 minute blast in the microwave pre-cooks these peppers and cuts your baking time in half.”

And here’s the simple, homey recipe I semi-followed (ingredients, not measurements) for this particular dinner.

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