Stuffed Peppers with a Twist…
Yep! The twist is using a mixture of meats rather than all ground beef.
The twist continues with the use of Arborio rice and chili sauce and cheese over the top.
I would say that is a twist and a half!
I assembled my ingredients…really more than I needed as I was experimenting with the tomato part of the recipe.
Some people like diced tomatoes and some prefer tomato sauce, I decided to use tomato paste as it is a bit richer in flavor.
There are several steps to making stuffed peppers, but none are difficult.
The first step would be to cut the tops off of the bell peppers, chopping the tops into a fine dice.
Par-boil the peppers for only 5 minutes to keep the color fresh….I don’t like the mushy olive green when the peppers are over cooked. ;(
Drain on paper towels….notice the color is still vibrant? I think it makes the peppers more appetizing to have the peppers blanched. But that is just me!
Chop the onion and celery and add to the already chopped bell peppers.
Saute the onion, celery and bell peppers in olive oil and butter in a medium sized skillet…
Now aren’t they pretty?
And I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma of what is known in Cajun country as “The Trinity”, onion, celery, and bell peppers!
This combination of veggies, is the base of most savory Cajun dishes, more often than not.
Let me digress for just a minute please……you knew I would, didn’t you? 😉
These particular veggies are added to a roux as the beginning of stew, soup, sauce, jambalaya, sauce piquant or almost any other Cajun main dish.
Yes, the trinity is used in many recipes not attributed to Louisiana, but are probably used in Cajun cooking or low country cooking more than any other type of cooking.
I have many cookbooks and four special cookbooks by the late Justin Wilson, a Cajun humorist and cook of Cajun specialties.
Mr. Wilson comments about the use of the trinity in reference to onion, celery and bell peppers.
“The importance of these three vegetables is indicated by the reference to the “holy trinity.” The mostly Catholic French Cajuns’ mean this allusion as a sign of the respect due to the place of onion, celery, and bell pepper in Cajun cookery. You can never have too much onion…but go easy on the celery and bell peppers, because they are taste killers in a roux. sometimes garlic is added to the trinity”.
Ok, now that we have established the origin of onion, celery and bell peppers…let’s move on to the cooking of the rice for the stuffing inside the bell peppers. ;0
Sooooo, meanwhile cook the rice!
Add the spices to the skillet of onion, celery and bell peppers.
Add the tomato paste and the water to the skillet
Mix the meats, egg and Worcestershire sauce
Drain the rice and add to the meat mixture
Fill the peppers with the meat mixture and add 1 teaspoon of chilli sauce to the tops
Pour the remainder of the tomato mixture around the peppers…it is ok if some goes on top of the stuffed peppers. 😉
Bake in oven for 60 minutes, topping with cheese in the last 3 minutes, if desired.
Now what could be easier?
And the flavor is sooooo good!
If you haven’t made stuffed peppers in a while….try this recipe and see if you like the “twists” I have added.
The handy dandy printable is below. 😉
Have a Blessed day!
Stuffed Peppers with a Twist...
This stuffed pepper starts with a meat loaf mixture consisting of ground veal, pork and beef! Add a little Arborio Rice, a few veggies and all you need is a salad to complete this meal.
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- 6 Bell Peppers...I chose 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 green
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Diced tops of bell peppers (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
- 2 teaspoons salt, (1 teaspoon for veggies and 1 teaspoon for meats)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon for veggies and 1 teaspoon for meats)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef (or chuck)
- 1/2 pound of ground veal
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 1 cup cooked Arborio rice
- Chili Sauce (optional) I use Heinz
- shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 cup optional
- Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and clean the inside membranes out. Place the peppers in salted boiling water; reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Drain and set aside. Chop the edible tops of the peppers into a small dice.
- In a skillet, melt the butter along with olive oil. Add celery, onion, diced bell peppers and saute for about 5 minutes. Add oregano, garlic, basil, water, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Put the meats in a medium size bowl, add the egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, rice and half the tomato mixture from the skillet. Mix with your hands, trying not to over-mix, or the meat will become tough.
- Fill the bell peppers with the meat mixture and place in a 3 quart baking dish. Add 1 teaspoon of chili sauce to the top of each pepper. Add the other half of the tomato mixture from the skillet and pour around the peppers in the bottom of the dish. This assists in "steaming" the peppers from the bottom up...plus gives a nice sauce to use on the side for serving.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees... until the tops of the peppers start to caramelize.
- If using grated cheese, add 3 minutes before the peppers are done.
- If you prefer to use ground beef rather than the three meats...please do so.
- You may also use white rice in place of the Arborio, I just happen to have Arborio on hand and it is a "creamy" rice when added to the meats.
- The number of peppers really depends on the size of them...larger peppers would of course require fewer peppers.
- You may also cut your peppers in half and fill as pepper boats, as some may not prefer so much bell pepper ! 😉
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