>> Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I thought that since I recently posted the recipe for Cheesy Rice, I'd post this recipe for stuffed red bell peppers. I made it up a while back when red peppers were on sale at the market and I had a batch of leftover rice in the fridge. I don't like traditional stuffed peppers at all and these were a really good alternative for me. Enjoy!
This week at my local Stop and Shop they are having a sale on red bell peppers: 10 lbs for $10. Red peppers are a staple in my house and I jumped at the chance to buy a bunch as I normally buy one large one and try to eek at least two dinners out of it. So because I now had 5 giant peppers left from my massive purchase on Saturday, I decided I'd give stuffed peppers a try. Now let me preface this by saying I HATE stuffed peppers. I grew up with soggy green peppers jammed with bland white rice, tomato sauce and ground hamburg. Bleck! (Sorry if I offend anyone.) So as a wife and mom, I've never once made this meal for my family.
I figured there had to be a way to make these dern things taste better so I set to work coming up with a plan- the result are below.
There are quite a few ingredients and steps to these but they were so flavorful and I think if you've got a little bit of time to play around in the kitchen, they're well worth the effort! None of the steps are hard and the ingredients are all easily found at any grocery store.
5 large red bell peppers, 1/2'd lengthwise and seeded
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (not in casings)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp Tuscan sea salt*
1/2 tsp beef base or boullion granules
1 1/2 cups Cheesy Rice
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese mix
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 roasted red pepper (from a jar), diced
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbsp (approx 5-6 leaves) fresh basil, chopped
1 cup diced tomato, drained
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow onion and garlic, cook until onion becomes translucent. Add sausage and cook until browned. Drain on papertowels and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine feta, shredded cheese, sour cream, parmesan, roasted red pepper, basil and Italian seasoning.
In a larger mixing bowl combine cheesy rice, diced tomato and green onion. Then add the feta/sour cream mixture to the rice and finally, add the sausage mixture and fold together until combined well.
Arrange pepper halves in a casserole dish and fill with stuffing mixture. Add vegetable stock to the bottom of the casserole dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil, spoon stock over the tops of each pepper and cook an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Finish off by turning on the broiler for 2 minutes to put a nice brown on everything.
Served with tossed salad and homemade croutons
Special thanks my dear Lexi for my beautiful gift of Tuscan Sea Salts!
*Tuscan sea salt is a blend of large granule sea salt and traditional Tuscan herbs such as rosemary, sage and oregano. If you can't find this at your local market, substitute with 1 tsp plain sea salt combined with 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Like I said, there are a lot of steps to this- but it went pretty quick for me; I had exactly 1 1/2 cups of the cheesy rice in my fridge from dinner two nights ago and leftover diced tomatoes from when I made slow cooker chicken enchiladas, the day before that, so I was able to use up some fridge leftovers. You can certainly substitute other types of stock, onions, cheeses etc throughout this recipe to accomodate your family's tastes and what you have in your fridge/cupboards to keep the cost down. This only cost me $10 to make because I keep many of the ingredients on hand in my pantry.