Tuesday, July 6, 2010

stuffed peppers with spanish rice

Washing peppersImage via Wikipedia
   Every year I look forward to summer just for peppers. Some people are tomato people, I however, am a pepper person. I cook with them every chance I get (that means when they are on sale or in season). I completely understand why Cajun cookin' has them as the basis for so many dishes - just a good base and color - after all, food has to look pretty. Visual is just as much of a sense as taste and smell. That's why they say you eat with your eyes first.
   One of my favorite summer treats is stuffed peppers. It's so easy and a meal in itself - well, with crackers or maybe cheesy bread on the side. You just wash and clean out the peppers, then stuff with Spanish rice and pop into the crockpot. Oh, how I love my crockpot. It is my favorite appliance right behind the dishwasher and microwave. You just throw a bunch of stuff in, let it cook low and slow, then you are good. It is especially good with cheap meat - makes it tender which is a very good thing.
   Anyway, my hubby had a great suggestion since red peppers, after a good six months of being prices sky high, was to stuff a few red ones. He remembered watching one of the food dudes say "Why use green bell peppers when you can do red?" So we tried it.
I tossed the Spanish rice together, stuffed into the peppers and turned the crockpot on low for 6 hours or so. Here's the basic recipe.

Stuffed peppers
2 large green peppers and 2 large red
2 cups Spanish rice
shredded Mexican cheese

  Wash and remove tops from peppers. Clean out seeds and veins.
  Set in crockpot with tops up. Fill peppers with Spanish rice. Pour just enough liquid (beer, water or chicken stock) to cover bottom and heat in crockpot on medium 6-8 hours.

Spanish rice
  Pour 1 cup rice in medium saucepan. In measuring cup to 2 cups water, add 2 beef bouillon cubes and microwave until hot a bout 2 min. 30 seconds. Stir to help dissolve.
  In large skillet, brown 1 lb. ground meat (sausage adds a nice kick). When meat begins to brown, add 1/4 cup chopped red onion, 1/4 cup chopped vidallia onion, 1/4 cup chopped green peppers. Add some sat and pepper. When meat is almost done, add 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook a couple of minutes more, then drain fat and add the following spices - 1 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 T. cilantro.
  Take 6-8 grape (or cherry) tomatoes, wash and dice. Add to meat and veggies, stirring to mix well. Stir in rice until well blended.
  When you serve peppers, top with shredded cheese.

The rice can also be used for stuffing peppers and tomatoes or added to tacos.
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