Photo: The Primal Palate
Stuffing foods with other foods is a great tradition in the culinary world. Here in the states, one of our favorite stuffed foods is probably the stuffed pepper. It's traditionally filled with ground beef and rice, but there are countless ways to add variety to the recipe. Here's ours!
- 1lb ground beef
- 4 medium bell peppers with 1/2 inch trimmed off the tops. Cores and seeds discarded.
- 1/2 cup long grain white rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained with 1/4 cup of the juice reserved
- 5 ounces monterey jack cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley leaves
- ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To begin, bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the bell peppers. Cook until the peppers begin to soften (about 3 minutes). Remove the peppers from the pot and drain off the excess water. Place the peppers cut sides up on paper towels. Return the water to boil, add the rice and boil until tender (about 13 minutes). Drain the rice and transfer to a large bowl.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion and stir occasionally until soft and beginning to brown. Add ground beef and brown. Make sure to break into small pieces as it cooks. Once completely browned, stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the rice, stir in the tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, then salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl stir together the ketchup and reserved tomato juice. Place the peppers cut side up on a baking dish. For stability, we found using ramekins, muffin tins, or a tube pan kept the peppers upright. Fill the peppers using a soup spoon, then spoon 2 tablespoons of the ketchup mixture over each pepper and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes, then serve immediately.