Peppers are a great vehicle to showcase different types of stuffings. It can fall into various cuisines and still keep the pepper as the focal point. Peppers have great aroma and comes with good health benefits. The fresh peppers, harvested in Spring, in a bountiful of colors is the perfect choice for this dish. When we take a walk into a Farmers market in Spring, the crisp cool air, brings a waft of fresh harvested produce and peppers totally stand out. They draw and entice you into buying them !
The filling is an open slate, anything and everything can be included. The choices here are such that it incorporates all food groups – brown rice, black beans, mushrooms and some veggies. Making this filling with leftover cooked rice is a great way to cut down on the preparation time. The flavor profile of the filling is Mexican and takes on the taste from the salsa. Definitely bring on the heat with a habanero. Topping off with cheese makes it ‘ooey gooey’ and gives it a very comforting bite.
If peppers are not your thing, the filling can be used in a wrap. Picture below for ideas.
This dish makes a great presentation in gatherings and parties. It can be prepared in large numbers ahead of time and refrigerated or even frozen until ready to be baked.
Few important steps to get the perfect peppers.
First – bake it once overturned and then stuff it and bake it again. This ensures the pepper is soft and juicy. When you cut the pepper and eat it with the filling, the 2 parts of the dish blends together and comes across as a unified bite.
Second – sprinkle salt liberally on the pepper when baking it, this ensures the pepper is well seasoned along with the filling.
Third – green peppers have the most flavor, so if a milder flavor is preferred, pick red, yellow or orange peppers. They are sweeter.
Fourth – cutting them lengthwise gives us 2 ‘boats’ per pepper and also a larger area to stuff. This also ensures the filling is proportional to the number of pepper bites available.
Fill it to your hearts content and partake of it !
Stuffed Peppers recipe
- Red Peppers (cut into half lengthwise) 2
- Brown rice (cooked) 1 cup
- Black beans (cooked) 1 cup
- Salsa 1/2 cup
- Shredded cheese 2 tbsps
- Mushrooms – roughly chopped 8 oz
- Onion – chopped (medium) 1
- Garlic pods 3-4
- habanero (finely chopped) 1
- Cilantro (to garnish) 2 tbsps
- Cut the peppers lengthwise, remove the insides carefully.
- Spray oil all over the pepper and place it skin-side upwards on a baking tray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Take a large skillet, add oil, sauce onions, garlic and habanero.
- Add mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add rice, black beans and salsa, season with salt and Mexican seasoning (optional) and combine very well.
- Garnish filling with cilantro.
- Next take the peppers and carefully fill it to top with the prepared rice mixture, pressing it lightly to ensure it is well packed.
- Sprinkle cheese on top.
- Bake at 425 degrees hot oven for 20-30 minutes.
- The cheese will be melted and the pepper should be cooked but still retaining it shape.
Stuffed peppers are ready !
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