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stuffed peppers Stuffed Peppers, American Style

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 15, 2013:  Thursday's Recipes

Stuffed Peppers, American Style

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      Another in our repertoire of stuffed bell pepper recipes - and the last of this season.  The original was probably topped with 'American' cheese. Use a mild Cheddar if you can or anything that will melt well.

Stuffed Peppers, American Style                  Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
     This is closer to the traditional recipe one often finds in cafeterias in the US.  I've updated the flavors, used ricotta rather than cottage cheese and the peppers are cooked, but not overdone.

6oz (180gr) ground beef (mince)
1 medium onion
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup, 8oz (240ml) tomato sauce
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) ricotta
1/3 cup Basmati
2/3 cup beef stock
2.5oz (75gr) American cheese - or cheddar  you'll want enough for 4 - 6 pepper halves
3 small or 2 medium nicely shaped bell peppers, any color  4-sided peppers work best.

Cook rice in stock until done, about 15 minutes, or according to package directions. 
Peppers:  Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil.  Cut peppers in half the long way (try to find the best flat sides before cutting so that they will lay nicely) and remove stem end and seeds. When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish that will just hold them (if possible). 
Stuffing:  Chop onion, celery and garlic.  In nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté chili powder for 1 minute.  Add garlic, celery and onion, sauté until tender, 5 - 7 minutes.  Add beef and sauté until cooked through breaking it up as it cooks.  Add 2/3's of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, basil.  Heat through.  Add ricotta and rice.  Remove from heat and spoon mixture into the pepper halves.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C). Slice cheese.  Remove foil from peppers, spoon remaining tomato sauce over and top with cheese.  Bake, uncovered for another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.

Note:  If the stuffing doesn't fit, keep it warm and serve on the side or just eat it right now out of the pan.

Cooking schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small saucepan with lid, skillet, baking dish, large pot
blanching peppers, foil

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Put water on high heat for peppers
Cook rice
Chop onion, celery, garlic
Sauté chili powder
Add onions, celery, garlic, sauté
Cut, clean peppers, select nice sides first

Add beef to skillet, brown, break apart
Blanch peppers
Add tomato sauce, basil, Worcestershire to beef, heat
Remove peppers, arrange in baking dish
    Pause while rice finishes
Add rice, ricotta to beef, remove from heat
Stuff peppers, cover with foil, bake
     Pause while they bake
Uncover peppers
Spoon tomato sauce over, top with cheese, bake
   Pause while they finish
Remove and serve

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