I’m a Pepper

I tweeted my daughter – “What do I make well (besides children)?”  Her response was green bean casserole, which of course I make well because I use the traditional French’s fried onions and Campbell soup variety, so I can hardly claim that as my own.  She also mentioned stuffed peppers.  I haven’t made them in forever so I just stuck that idea aside for a future article.

Later that day, however, when I went to Grocery Outlet they had a bag of sweet peppers on sale for $2.99.  That’s a really good price for this time of year when any other color of pepper besides green gets sold for a dollar a piece and up.  This bag had 4 large peppers, 2 yellow, 1 orange and 1 red.  Sold, and a blog article in the making.

I’m not sure what my daughter is expecting for stuffed peppers as I rarely make the same thing the same way twice.  This is the version she’s getting tonight.  After cleaning out the pepper insides you want to break down the cell walls a bit before stuffing.  You can either blanche them in boiling water for a little bit (like 30 seconds and then plop them in ice water) or you can take the easy way like I did.

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Cover them with plastic wrap and zap em in the micro for 2 minutes.

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On to the filling – I’m using the tops of the peppers chopped up and a bit of onion chopped as well.  Add some garlic and a poundish of hamburger and fry it all up.  In hindsight I see I was lazy in chopping the peppers and onions.  This will give my children too easy of access to pull them out.  I use the word children lightly because they are 15 and 17, but when it comes to eating they are far too often childish.  So to remedy my laziness I went back in with my kitchen shears and snipped the large chunks down.  While that mixture is cooking I start some quinoa.

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Typically, I would use rice but I scored some inexpensive quinoa at Grocery Outlet – so quinoa it is.  Like a lot of grains the ratio of grain to water is 1:2.  One half cup of quinoa in 1 cup of water will give me plenty.  Normally, I would use stock to cook my grains in, but since we are mixing it all up with a bunch of other flavors it isn’t necessary.  You’re supposed to rinse quinoa before cooking.  I did my best but the process resulted in little quinoas dancing all over my kitchen.  Does anyone have a good method of doing this without getting it all over the place?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Mix the cooked quinoa in with the cooked burger mix and add some feta (of course) and some tomato sauce of some sort.  Taste it and season it.

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I decided to add some chives and parsley because I have massive amounts growing and I usually forget to do anything with them.  Into the pot they go after washing and chopping.  Stir it all up and it’s ready to fill those peppers.

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I pour some tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish and then fill those peppers to the brim.  Top with a little Parmesan and they are ready for their close up.  I’ll cover them with foil (sprayed with cooking spray so it doesn’t stick to the cheese) and put them in the usual 350 degree oven to cook until the pepper feels soft and they start to smell good.  Then I’ll take the foil off to brown the tops.

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Wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too?

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