To brighten up our dinner plates after such a dreary and super long winter I thought I’d make a recipe that I haven’t made in a while, stuffed peppers. The local Loblaws was also having a sale on small colourful peppers so I bought a load of them and started thinking about what would go inside.
The peppers make little bowls to hold any number of different ingredients. For our dinner, I had the idea to use up things I had on hand: some hot Italian sausages, ground beef, onions, rice and cheese. I added in a few other touches, baked them and added a side salad to make a really lovely dinner. I did buy medium to small peppers so I should warn you I ended up with more filling than peppers. That is not going to be a problem for this hungry family because my plan for the extra filling is to mix it with black beans, some more cheese and maybe some salsa – and then serve this up wrapped like burritos.
In any case, let’s talk about the stuffed peppers first and then if the burritos turn out, I’ll post more about that later.
This filling stuffed more than 13 peppers…
- 4 hot Italian sausages, (about 1 lb) removed from casings, chopped and browned
- 1 package lean ground beef (about 1.2 lbs)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups diced onion
- 13 (or so) peppers…I chose a bunch of different colours because they looked pretty)
- 2 cups brown rice
- 2 cups spaghetti sauce
- 1 (13 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp. or more hot sauce such as Franks Red Hot
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash peppers and slice around the tops, pulling out the core. Cut about 1/4 inch of the tops off so that they can be stuffed. Remove all seeds from the inside of each pepper. Take the top part of the pepper and dice because this can be added back into the filling. Dice the onions and set aside. Cook brown rice and set aside.
In a large skillet, crumble the sausages, mix with the hamburger meat and brown until thoroughly cooked. Drain fat and then add the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, diced onions, diced peppers and white wine. Saute until this is well mixed and the onions have softened slightly. Pour this mixture into a large bowl and stir in the hot sauce, grated cheese and the brown rice. Mix well and thoroughly stuff each pepper. Stand each pepper upright and make sure that they are tightly in the pan so that they won’t tip over.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with a side salad.
Just remember, there will be leftover filling. If you begin with fresh hamburger and sausage, you could freeze the remaining filling and use it at a later time.