After an extremely long and crazy day at my “real job,” I am having to resort to a recipe I’d already saved in a text file awhile ago. I haven’t even had the time to find the picture that goes with it, as my photo files are completely disorganized, unfiled, and on different computers, CDs and external media storage devices. The picture you see is a free stock photo, so that I don’t infringe on anyone’s copyrights or snag a Google image of someone else’s dinner.
This recipe originally came from my beloved and food-splattered Better Homes and Garden All-Time Favorite Recipes book, published in 1979. This was given to me by my mother in high school when I started showing a keen interest in cooking. I also think she was preparing me to be able to cook on my own when I graduated and left for college.
Over the years I have changed the recipe and scribbled in the margins, adding this, taking away that, so that this is now an overhauled version of the original. While this meal takes a bit of preparation before it goes into the oven, what I do like about it is that I can make it ahead of time earlier in the day, or even the day before, then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes when we are ready to eat. I only use two peppers instead of four, because although my family likes this meal, they are not too fond of the taste of bell pepper. However, the sweeter red, yellow and orange peppers are more readily available these days, so it is nice to choose from a variety of colors and flavors for the dish.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
2 large bell peppers, any color (or 4 if you want all the stuffing inside)
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup uncooked rice
3/4 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1. Cut 1/2 inch tops off of bell peppers, and dice the tops up except for the stems.
2. Clean and rinse the inside of the peppers and place with small amount of water in covered microwavable dish. Microwave for five minutes and let rest until ready to stuff.
3 . In a very large frying pan, sauté the ground beef along with chopped pepper tops, onion and garlic until beef is browned. Drain.
4. Add the rest of ingredients except cheese and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until rice is done, about 20-25 minutes.
5. Stir in half the cheese.
6. Stuff the peppers with mixture and place in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, and spoon the extra stuffing around the peppers.
7. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over top and bake 5 minutes longer.
Note: This can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to cook.