I love food. I enjoy eating food, but what I really love is working with food. I read cookbooks like they're novels. I've worked in restaurants. I love serving people food and I love preparing food.
I'm a decent cook when it comes to day to day meals. There are things I make that my family enjoys, things that they don't mind and, occasionally, things that no one likes. One of my joys is preparing a meal that I know my husband enjoys. Because he is on the road so much, this is something that doesn't happen all that often.
Last night I made stuffed peppers. I have a mixed history with stuffed peppers. I remember having them for dinner one night when I was in grade school, not wanting to eat them and then getting sick. It was many years before I would willingly eat another stuffed pepper. Then one day shortly after Husband and I married, I got a taste for stuffed peppers. After searching my cookbooks for a recipe and coming up with nothing, I set about developing my own. As often happens with this kind of thing, my stuffed peppers may taste slightly different each time, but Husband really enjoys them. I wish I had remembered to take a picture before we ate, but I didn't. What you see here is what was left over.
It looks pretty sad sitting there all by itself, doesn't it? It looked much better when it was grouped with red and green stuffed peppers.
My girls don't care for cooked peppers but they love the filling. So I make extra filling, top it with cheese and bake it as a casserole. The following recipe reflects that.
Sage's Stuffed Peppers
4 medium sized bell peppers
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1lb ground beef
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 - 680ml (about 23oz) can tomato sauce
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Cut the tops off the peppers, remove the stems and seeds. Chop the pepper tops; set aside. Microwave the peppers in a covered container for 4 minutes; set aside.
2. In a frying pan, combine the diced peppers, onion, garlic and ground beef. Cook over medium heat until the meat is cooked and the peppers are soft.
3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef mixture, cooked rice and tomato sauce. Using Mrs. Dash, oregano and basil, season to taste. Stir in a couple handfuls of cheddar cheese; mix well.
4. Stuff ground beef mixture into peppers and place peppers in a baking dish. Top each pepper with cheese. Place remaining ground beef mixture into a casserole dish and top with cheese.
5. Cover peppers and casserole and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more.