A family favorite that is so easy to make. This is a dish that is hardly found in most restaurants. A classic recipe that will surely bring back a lot of good memories of your childhood days. Here’s how.
- What you will need. Prepare 6 large, sweet bell peppers (red, green or yellow); 1 pound of lean ground beef (for weight watchers, you can use ground turkey or chicken instead); 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 2 cloves of garlic, minced; ½ cup of uncooked long-grain, white rice (measured dry without cooking); ¾ cup of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned); 1 teaspoon of paprika; 1 teaspoon of dried basil (optional); ½ teaspoon of salt; dash of pepper to taste; 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated; 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce; 1 large egg, slightly beaten; 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil; 1 ¼ cup of beef, chicken or vegetable stock.
- Prepare the rice. Cook the rice with water as instructed on the box.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. This water will be used for blanching the bell peppers.
- Slice the bell peppers one inch from the top of stem. Chop the flesh of the pepper from the stems. Set aside. Remove the seeds and white pith from inside the peppers. Check if each pepper can stand on its own. If not, slice a small part off the bottom to make a flat surface.
- Blanch the bell peppers before using. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water. Add bell peppers. Use a spatula to completely submerge the peppers into the hot water. Keep submerging until peppers become brilliant in color and the skin is slightly softened. This will take around 3 minutes. Do not overcook the peppers. Remove from water. Rinse in cold water to stop peppers from cooking. Drain and set aside on a wire rack to cool.
- Brown the meat. Sauté́ the onions in olive oil on medium high heat until they run clear in color. Fry garlic until golden. Brown and season the meat for 5 minutes or until done. Use a spatula to break up the meat. Drain the oil from the skillet.
- Make the filling. Add the reserved bell peppers to the meat mixture. Next, stir in the tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes, drain all the liquid before using. Add the cooked rice. Season the filling with salt and pepper. Stir in paprika, broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover and let simmer. Reduce heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Remove pan from heat and let it cool for 20 minutes. Stir in egg and parmesan cheese. For easier handling, transfer ingredients to a mixing bowl. Then add egg and cheese. Mix well.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place rack in the middle of the oven.
- Spoon 3/4 cup of filling into each bell pepper. Cover with foil. Pour ¼ cup of water to baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove foil. Sprinkle cheese onto bell peppers. Return to oven uncovered and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
There are a variety of combinations to choose from – whether it is any ground meat mixed with rice, barley, pasta or none. To make the stuffed bell pepper dish more appealing, use different colored bell peppers.