Although I already have a great stuffed pepper recipe in Fool a Carnivore (check out Baked Bell Peppers Stuffed with Sausage and Spinach at pp. 69-70), I had a hankering for the more traditional kind of stuffed pepper I remember from childhood.
I conferred with Bill and he remembered that rice, ground meat, tomatoes, and cheese were the dominant flavors. When I found some gargantuan yellow peppers for a buck apiece at the farmers market, I knew I had a date with destiny with these apocryphal stuffed peppers.
This will be one of my recipes in my next e-book, but I thought I would share it with you now so you can take advantage of the late summer bounty of gorgeous bell peppers.
- 3 enormous red, yellow, or orange stuffed peppers, tops cut off, core and seeds removed
- ½ cup Jasmine white rice
- 1-2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ large Vidalia (or other sweet onion), chopped fine
- 8 ounces Westsoy Ground Seitan, broken into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 ¼ cups diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable stock
- 1-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 5-6 stems of thyme, leaves removed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- 5-6 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (New Zealand cheddar is wonderful in this dish!)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons tomato juice or V-8
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 Tablespoon of salt. Put the upright peppers in a steamer insert and steam them in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove and let cool. Drain any water that has accumulated in the bottom of the pepper shells.
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish with non-stick spray and put the cooled upright peppers in the dish.
- While the peppers are cooking, begin making the rice. Although I usually like brown rice, white rice gives me the kind of textural feel a remember from childhood. Rinse the rice and put it in a pan, along with 1⅓ cups of boiling water and little sea salt. Let the rice cook until it is tender – about 18-20 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan and add the onion. After about 5-6 minutes, add the Westsoy Ground, and any liquid in the package. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and then add the pressed garlic and cook for another minute or two. Let it set until the rice is ready.
- When the rice is fully cooked, add the rice, diced tomatoes, the stock, the parsley and thyme, salt and pepper, and about 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
- Carefully stuff the pepper shells with this mixture.
- Mix together the ketchup and the tomato juice or V-8. Spoon a little of the tomato mixture over the top of each pepper and a add a tablespoon or so of grated cheese.
- Pop the stuffed peppers in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Serves 3 (with enormous appetites) or 6 if you slice each pepper in half either after it has been lightly steamed in step 2 or after it has fully cooked once it has baked.