Cooking and Recipes: Stuffed bell peppers

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Cooking and Recipes: Stuffed bell peppers

Benjamin Kraft/The Daily Northwestern

Benjamin Kraft/The Daily Northwestern

Benjamin Kraft/The Daily Northwestern

Benjamin Kraft, Recipe Blogger

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It’s cold outside — I’m sure you’ve noticed — and leaving the dorm should require a better reason than eating whatever pizza and pasta the dining halls concoct for this week’s eating options. With a quick trip to Whole Foods or Jewel-Osco and a few pots and pans, it’s easy to make your own dinner in your dorm or apartment. This week, I took over the kitchen in Allison Hall to make this satisfying, hearty stuffed peppers dish.

Deviating from the sea creature feature of the last two weeks’ salmon and tuna recipes, this dish involves a more robust beef, rice and vegetable combination. With a garlic, paprika and Worcestershire sauce (pronounced: “don’t-even-try”) seasoning  for the pepper stuffing and the roasted vegetables, this dish could easily become a staple in the college diet.

While this dish is slightly more complicated and time intensive than the typical college amateur chef is generally willing to try, the compact, delicious yield makes perfect leftovers for the rest of the week, especially with midterms fast approaching.

Serves 6 | Hands-on time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes | Source: Spoonful

Ingredients:

  • 6 large red or green peppers, rinsed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 3/4 cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

Directions:

  1. Slice the top 1/4 inch off each pepper.
  2. Finely chop the flesh on the stem end; set it aside.
  3. Remove the seeds and white pith from inside the peppers. (If the peppers won’t stand up straight, take a small slice off the bottom with a paring knife to make a flat surface.)
  4. Combine the reserved chopped pepper, ground beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet.
  5. Brown the meat over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking it up with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  6. Drain any visible fat from the pan, then return it to the heat.
  7. Add the rice, broth, tomato, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer it, tightly covered, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg and the 1/3 cup of Parmesan.
  9. Heat the oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a large baking or casserole dish and pour in 2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce.
  10. Using a large spoon, scoop divide the filling among the peppers. Set the stuffed peppers into the prepared pan, so they are evenly spaced and surrounded by sauce. Spread a spoonful of the remaining sauce over the top of each, to keep the filling moist, and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  11. Bake the peppers until they’re heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the tops with Parmesan.
  12. Serve the peppers hot, in pools of tomato sauce.

Email: benjaminkraft2017@u.northwestern.edu

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