Stuffed Peppers

I have been craving stuffed peppers.  My mom used to make these and I hated them.  I didn’t mind what was inside but did not like those peppers.  I guess my taste buds have changed – died due to the aging process 🙂 but I love peppers now.  I used green bell peppers today but I think next time I will use red, orange and yellow.  I also would like to try some other peppers besides the bell variety.  This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes to bake.   I found this recipe at  America’s Test Kitchen.  It reminds me of my mom’s recipe.  Here goes;

Classic Stuffed Peppers
(just like mom’s)

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4 green, red, yellow, orange bell peppers, 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded (I used 6 green, they were small to medium size and on sale this week!)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1# ground beef (or any ground meat.  If you don’t want meat add more veggies and/or rice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained – 1/4 cup juice set aside for later use
5 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
Salt and pepper

Directions

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1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.

2.  Bring 4 quarts water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to boil in large stockpot over high heat.  When water boils,  add your peppers.  02062014 006Cook until peppers begin to soften, 3-5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon.
3.  Set the peppers upside down on paper towels to drain water, then flip over as soon as drained.
4.  Return water to a boil, add 1/2 cup of rice and boil until tender or 12 minutes.  Drain rice into colander and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
5.  While the rice is cooking heat a 12 inch heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat until hot, add oil and swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
6.  Transfer mixture to the bowl with rice, stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
7.  In a small bowl stir together the ketchup and remaining tomato juice.
8.  Place peppers cut side up in 9 inch square baking dish. 02062014 009 Fill each pepper with meat/rice mixture.  Spoon 2 Tablespoons of ketchup mixture over tope of each filled pepper, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.02062014 013

Don’t limit yourself to the classic stuffing.  You could use any kind of ground meat, different cheeses, grains, veggies.  The list is endless.  Hope you enjoy this simple and delicious comfort food meal!!

 

 

Stuffed Shells – Scullion Crew Favorite

I think I could make Stuffed Shells every weekend and they would be gone in a heartbeat.  All of us love them.  Especially the next day, if they survive that long.  Here is this simple recipe that takes no time at all.  If you don’t make your own sauce (which takes 15 minutes for a quick one) then use a jar.  Here you go;

Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients

1 Box – Jumbo Stuffed Shells
Tomato Sauce or buy a jar (whatever works for you)
1 -32 ounce container of Ricotta (I use whole milk Ricotta)
3 cups shredded Mozzarella (2 cups for mixing in the bowl, 1 cup to top the shells before putting in oven.)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (If I have it I use it, if I don’t it is still wonderful!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
3.  In medium bowl, stir together cheeses, eggs, salt, pepper
4.  Use a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, spread bottom of dish with 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Fill each cooked shell with cheese mixture and add to baking dish.  August 2014 050When baking dish is full, spread remaining sauce over shells; sprinkle with additional mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese, if desired. (It depends on my mood.  I usually use mozzarella cheese.)
5.  Bake  35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.August 2014 008

 

I will be surprised if you don’t love this simple and delicious meal.  I think I may have to make this over the weekend.  Enjoy!!