Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers
Si amigos, it’s Saturday and I am still into types of stuffing recipes. Now Poblano peppers first came to mind and rightly so. Been there, done that with my Chiles en Nogada recipe.
Today it’s a kitchen sink or rather a cupboard version using ingredients I found in my cabinets and fridge. Nothing fancy but man, what a great outcome. Some days I just surprise myself. You can use green, red or yellow bell peppers, whatever you have on hand or whatever is on sale, I happened to have a couple each of red and green. In the notes below, I mention steaming the peppers which I think brings about a sweeter taste but you can boil them in simmering water if you want, just keep them submerged for a few minutes until the flesh becomes pliable. You can also leave out the meat if you like; it has enough good stuff to satisfy an appetite without missing a beat.
One good thing about this type of dish is it freezes well after preparing. Divide it up, cook what you want and freeze the rest for another night. Just thaw and cook accordingly. The dish is really cooked after assembly but by allowing it to further cook in the oven, everything sort of melds together, the cheese forms a topping and your senses and hungry tummy gets a workout. Enjoy!
Fiesta Stuffed Peppers
serves 4 really hungry folks, or 8 regular servings
4 large bell peppers
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 -15.5 oz black beans, drained
1 -14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 -15.25 oz can kernel corn, drained
1 -6 oz can tomato paste
Mexican style shredded cheese
Wash the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise, removing the seeds. Position a rack in a pan of boiling water so that the rack is just above the water level. Place peppers cut side down in a single layer on the rack. Steaming peppers will give them a much better taste. Cover with a lid and steam for about 6 minutes or until just about soft. Do this in batches if needed.
In a large skillet, cook the meat in a little oil if needed until brown. Drain off grease and add the onion, garlic and spices. Cook until onions are soft. Add rice, the beans, corn, tomatoes with liquid and stir in the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon mixture into the pepper halves and place in an ungreased casserole dish. Choose one so that the peppers fit snugly inside. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove foil. Sprinkle each pepper with a little cheese and bake another 5 or so minutes or until cheese melts. Serve warm.
Note: This would be great with a cheese sauce spooned over the top.