Here are three different unique variations of your traditional stuffed pepper! Enjoy
1. Stuffed Red Bell Peppers Bon Appétit | February 2002
6 large (8-ounce) red bell peppers 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups chopped onions 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2/3 cup cooked white rice, cooled 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 1teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 2 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef 1 large egg
Prep Cut off top 1/2 inch of peppers and reserve. Scoop seeds from cavities. Discard stems and chop pepper tops. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, garlic, and chopped pepper pieces. Sauté until onions soften, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in rice, paprika, salt, pepper, and allspice. Cool 10 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup tomato sauce, then beef and egg. Fill pepper cavities with beef mixture. Stand filled peppers in single layer in heavy large pot. Pour remaining 2 cups tomato sauce around peppers. Bring sauce to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer 20 minutes. Spoon some sauce over each pepper. Cover; cook until peppers are tender and filling is cooked through and firm, about 20 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover and chill. Rewarm covered over low heat.)
2. Roasted Bell Pepper Halves Stuffed with Bulgur and Spinach
3 red bell peppers (2 large and 1 small) 2 large yellow bell peppers 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups water 1 cup coarse or medium bulgur* 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup dried currants 2 tablespoons pine nuts 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 6-ounce bag fresh baby spinach leaves 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces), divided
Prep Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut large red and yellow bell peppers in half through stem end. Remove seeds and cut out ribs, leaving stems intact. Finely chop small red bell pepper; set aside. Spread 1 tablespoon oil over rimmed baking sheet. Place pepper halves, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast 15 minutes. Turn over; roast until slightly softened, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan; add bulgur and 1 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until bulgur is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped red pepper; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add currants and pine nuts; sauté 2 minutes. Add cumin; stir 20 seconds. Mix in spinach; stir until beginning to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in bulgur, mint, and dill. Stir in half of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Divide bulgur mixture among pepper halves. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake stuffed peppers until heated through, about 25 minutes (or 30 minutes if chilled); serve. *Also called cracked wheat; available at natural foods stores and supermarkets.
3. Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Chick-Pea and Eggplant Purée and Mushrooms
6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms 6 ounces button mushrooms 1 pound mixed vine-ripened red and yellow cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 shallot, sliced thin 1 garlic clove, sliced thin 4 medium yellow bell peppers with stems attached 2 cups Chick-pea and Eggplant Purée 1 tablespoon pine nuts
Preheat oven to 425° F. Trim and quarter mushrooms. Halve tomatoes lengthwise. In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté shallot, stirring, until softened. Reduce heat to moderate and cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Halve bell peppers lengthwise through stems and discard seeds and ribs. Season pepper shells with salt and pepper and in a large baking pan bake in upper third of oven 10 minutes. Spoon chick-pea and eggplant purée evenly into shells, smoothing tops. Mound mushroom mixture onto center of purée and sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake stuffed peppers in upper third of oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. (Alternatively, grill pepper shells, skin sides up, on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 7 to 10 minutes, or until slightly charred. Transfer shells to a work surface and stuff them as above. Grill stuffed peppers, covered, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)
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