Friday, October 12, 2012

Garden Box Stuffed Peppers

You have all seen my garden boxes. They have been doing great. But as the first freeze hits New England, these guys are going to have to be cleaned out. But, a while back we harvested some peppers! And what do you do with a bunch of peppers? Make stuffed peppers! Well apparently. This is kind of a big deal here (on the east coast), I saw them all the time in Pittsburgh, and they are popular here too. Gwyn said she had them growing up. I never did. This may just be my mother didn't make them on behalf of her two kids not really liking peppers when they were young... oh wait Chelsea still does not really like peppers. But I love them! So on to the recipe:

This was completely made up by me. I had only a little foreknowledge, and a lot of improvisation.

Garden Box Stuffed Peppers

Bake Time: 30 Mins +/- 20 mins depending on filling
Prep Time: 30 Mins

I am not going to add quantity to the ingredients, as the size of your peppers is the biggest constraint. If you have huge peppers you need a lot of filling. If you have small peppers, you don't need that much. Use your best judgement. Also, if you like a lot of meat, add a lot of meat, if you really like beans, add more beans.

Bell Peppers! Good Ones! You can get whatever level of ripeness you want (i.e. color)
Italian Sausage (or other savory sausage)
Sweet Onion
Black Beans (can)
Brown Rice (cooked)
Corn (from a can, or fresh)
Cheese (we always have mexican blend on hand)
Bread Crumbs

Tomato Sauce

Added Garden Herbs:

Pre Heat oven to ~375. A little higher if you have large peppers, and a little cooler if you have small guys.

First step is to open up and completely clean out the pepper. Be sure to Only cut enough to make an opening, you want to preserve the cup like nature of the pepper for the stuffing part. Clean out all of the white flesh and the seeds. Wash well.

Cook your sausage. You can get this 80% of the way done as the filling is going to cook while in the oven. You can cook it all the way if you want. Pull out cooked sausage.

In sausage grease, cook chopped up onion until translucent.

If you need to cook rice, you should have started a while ago.

In a large bowl mix your sausage, onions, beans, rice and corn. We went about equal part on all of it. We might have gone a little heavy on the sausage, but equal on the rest. Add cheese, bread crumbs and tomato sauce. This is completely up to the cook. If you want really cheesy stuffed peppers, you know what to do here. If the mixture is too solid, you can add more tomato sauce, if it is too liquidy, (drain if it is sitting in liquid) add some bread crumbs. You want it kind of the consistency of dough. Add your herbs and other seasoning if you want (Haha! Hot Peppers!)

In a baking dish, pour a generous layer of tomato sauce to the bottom. Then take each pepper and stuff! Using a spoon, get the inside mixture all up in the pepper. Top with a basil leaf, then a layer of tomato sauce, and then a generous layer of cheese. Arrange so that the peppers hold themselves up, if you need to you can make little foil support structures.

Bake for 10 - 40 minutes (lol, huge span I know). I think I baked ours for 20 minutes. You want it to go until the cheese on top is browning, or the insides are bubbling out.

Pull out, put it on a plate, pour some hot sauce from the bottom of the pan on top and serve.

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