Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stuffed Peppers à la Left-Overs

Peppers can be stuffed with pretty much anything, but traditionally, it's usually rice and ground beef. Kind of boring. This version contains corn rather than rice (which I mark as a great improvement), and is topped with smoked pork, to make two distinct layers inside the pepper. The amount of meat/ savory topping here is quite minimal so I recommend using whatever you have lurking in the fridge rather than buying something-- leftover grilled chicken! Some fried tofu! A few strips of bacon! A quantity of mushrooms too small to use for anything else! Some deliciously-spiced beans! (and so on and so forth) Aim for something strong-flavored and crispy for textural and flavor balance with the rest of the pepper-- I do recommend frying whatever it is you're going to use.

Stuffed Peppers -- Makes 6 peppers, serves ~2 dinners and 2 lunches.

6 peppers of suitable size (Bell, or Ancho for more kick)
2 cups corn, cut off cob (Or 2 cups of rice, I suppose)
4 ribs celery
1 small onion or a couple of shallots
Salt, pepper, dash of oregano
~6 ounces savory protein goodness (I used some smoked pork, see note at beginning)
~1 cup cheese, grated (cheap cheddar used here)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Fry up your meat/ soy / tasty savory thing. Set aside to cool briefly.
Cut off top of peppers and remove seeds. Put into lightly greased baking pan.
Chop celery and onion into small pieces. Mix with corn, and add salt, spices and herbs to taste. I used pepper and oregano.
Fill peppers with this mixture, leaving about an inch on top.
Chop up your protein into bite-sized pieces (if it's not already) and top peppers with it.
Top with cheese if you so desire.
Bake until the peppers are soft and the cheese is starting to brown, ~30 minutes? (I have a hard time keeping tabs on these things, but it's done when it's done, and it does take a while)
Serve with rice. Or corn I guess if you stuffed your peppers with rice.

Photo by Bodger.

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