Monday, June 1, 2009

Stuffed Peppers Five Ways For Angela From Wisconsin.

The other day I got a comment on my blog from Angela from Wisconsin: Hi Rosie... Long time lurker. I love your blog. I had to delurk to tell you that I recently discovered the same sandwich thins this past weekend & I am in LOVE with them. We had burgers as well this past weekend & they were a huge hit. With regular burger buns, I would always scrape out the "guts" of the bun so I could taste meat vs. bread. A true win-win. I have 2 requests for future posts. Stuffed Peppers & Sloppy Joes. Interested to see your variation on 2 classics. Keep up the great work! Angela from WI Well, Angela from Wisconsin, wait no more. Last night I made 5 different kinds of stuffed peppers, one of which was stuffed with a Sloppy Joe mixture. And aren't those gorgeous peppers?
With five different dishes, I had to color code them.
First, meatloaf-stuffed peppers.
My ingredients: 12 oz. ground chuck 16 oz. ground pork torn bread from a French loaf soaked in milk 1/2 onion, chopped 1 egg 1 15-oz can tomato sauce 4 TB Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper stack of Ritz crackers Not shown: Montreal Seasoning
First, I hand mixed the ground meats and added in my chopped onion.
I added in about a teaspoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning.
Then the egg went in.
Can of tomato sauce. I usually use Hunt's Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Meatloaf, but ... gasp ... I was out.
About 4 TB of Lea & Perrins.
I squeezed out the excess milk and added the bread to the mixture.
I sliced the top of the pepper, cut out the ribs, and stuffed the meatloaf mixture inside. Then I crumbled the Ritz over top.
I pressed the rest of the meatloaf into my loaf pan.
And sprinkled the Ritz over top.
Top the pepper with the top.
And here's my meatloaf stuffed pepper ready for baking.
Next up, Stuffed Pepper #2 - Hamburger Stuffed pepper, with a tomato-herb based sauce.
My ingredients: enough ground chuck to fill one pepper 1/2 onion 1/2 carrot 1 celery stalk thyme sprigs salt and pepper tomato sauce cilantro basil
First, the sauce:
I heated one tablespoon of olive oil and added in the chopped onion and chopped carrot.
I like using the carrot
since it's a natural sweetener.
I stripped off the thyme leaves, added salt and pepper, and cooked for about 7 minutes.
A can of tomato sauce went in and I simmered for about 5 minutes.
And here's my very flavorful tomato sauce. Now onto the hamburger mixture:
I added the chopped celery to the ground chuck.
I chopped cilantro and basil.
Cilantro and basil went in.
Then I added in a handful of partially cooked rice. (The rice instructions said to cook for 20 minutes. I simmered for only 7 minutes, since it was going to be cooked more in the oven.)
Mix by hand.
And the hamburger/rice/herb mixture went into a RED pepper.
Stuffed hamburger/rice pepper in sauce, ready to cook.
On to Stuffed Pepper #3 - Sloppy Joe Stuffed Pepper.
Enough ground beef to fill the pepper. 1/4 onion, chopped 1/2 tsp granulated garlic 1/2 cup ketchup 1 tsp yellow mustard 2 TB brown sugar 1 tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika salt and pepper
I seasoned the hamburger meat with the spices and added the chopped onion.
Mustard went in. I used Nine Fingers Montana Mustard, which is quite possibly the world's finest mustard. See, it says so right there on the bottle.
Added a bit more ketchup.
Brown sugar.
Again, mix by hand.
Sloppy Joe mixture got packed into a green pepper. Remember, I'm color coding.
Here are the first 3 stuffed peppers and my meatloaf ready to bake.
I added a little water to the pepper baking dish.
Notice I took the red pepper out of the sauce
and put it in with the water.
I am anticipating a grease issue
and didn't want a grease-filled tomato sauce.
I covered the peppers with foil
and put them and the meatloaf into a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. Then I uncovered the peppers and cooked for about 45 more minutes, or until they registered 160 degrees on my thermometer.
While the first 3 stuffed peppers and the meatloaf were cooking, I prepared my last two stuffed peppers. Stuffed pepper #4: My Southwestern Stuffed pepper.
My ingredients: black beans rice green onion fresh corn can of diced tomatoes and green chilies cilantro cumin ancho chili powder Pepper Jack cheese salt and pepper orange pepper
I mixed equal parts black beans, fresh corn, and partially cooked rice.
I added about 1/2 tsp each of chili powder and cumin,
some salt and pepper, 
and the sliced green onion.
I added in about 1/2 can of the tomatoes and chilies.
I diced little pieces of the Pepper Jack cheese and added that to the mixture, along with some cilantro.
And I stuffed my orange pepper with the mixture. At this point, I knew this was going to be my favorite of the five.
I topped the pepper with slices of Pepper Jack cheese. And my Southwestern stuffed pepper is ready for baking.
Lastly, #5 pepper - an Indian inspired stuffed pepper. This particular Indian preparation is called Rajma. It's a kidney bean curry. And in Indian cooking, "curry" doesn't refer to the spice - curry powder. It refers to a combination of spices and flavors. I basically followed this recipe. And I don't even remember how I came up with Indian for this stuffed pepper. But it was inspired.
My ingredients: spices on the white dish (see below) 1/2 onion 3 Roma tomatoes 3 garlic cloves 1 Serrano chili rice kidney beans about 2 TB fresh ginger root My Garam Masala mix
My spices: whole cloves peppercorns cinnamon stick bay leaves cardamom seeds coriander seeds
I peeled my Roma tomatoes.
I sliced my onions, minced my garlic, and chopped my 'maters and Serrano.
I heated a tablespoon or two of Canola oil and added the whole spices and - important point here - COVERED the pan. These things spit. Now, the particular recipe I was skirting said nothing about what to do with these whole seeds. So I took it upon myself to remove the seeds from the oil, assuming they were there to flavor the oil. But hang on. I saved them.
Next, I added my sliced onions to the "flavored oil" and heated until translucent.
Next, the tomatoes went in ...
... and the Serrano chili ...
... minced garlic went in.
Next I pressed the ginger through my garlic press (about a 1 x 2 inch chunk).
I added the rice next.
And the kidney beans.
A sprinkling of red pepper flakes went in - maybe 1/2 teaspoon.
Then the Garam Masala.
Remember the sauteed whole spices? I put them in my mortar.
And I pestled them.
And added the pestled spices to my Rajma.
And here's my yellow pepper (Remember, I'm color coding.) with the Rajma.
The Southwestern stuffed pepper and the Rajma stuffed pepper went in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, just long enough for the pepper to cook a bit. Now, let's look at the finished products- all five stuffed peppers:
On the left, my vegetarian stuffed peppers: Rajma in the yellow pepper on the left and the Southwestern flavors in the orange pepper on the right. And if I were Booby Flay, there would certainly be some chipotles in that Southwestern pepper, but I'm not, so there aren't. I am not a fan of chipotle in adobo sauce. Too over-powering and smoky for my tastes, but that can always change. Oh, here's a little factoid about the etymology of the word "vegetarian." It comes from the Indian word meaning 
"He who sucks at hunting."
And here they are.
Here's the Rajma stuffed pepper.
And, ooh, ooh, ooh, my Southwestern stuffed pepper.
Just check this out. Click to enlarge to get the full effect.
Here are my meat-filled peppers: Top left, the Sloppy Joe stuffed green pepper. Top right, the meatloaf stuffed green pepper. Bottom, the herbed hamburger and rice stuffed red pepper. All sitting on a bed of lovely, flavorful, tomato sauce.
Now, Rosie's gonna give you a bit of her wisdom. Whenever I cook meatloaf, I spend most of the time, as in every 20 minutes or so, pouring out the accumulated grease. So how, I thought, am I gonna deal with the grease in the stuffed peppers? Well, what you do is make a slice in them while they're still in the water bath, not the tomato sauce. When you slice them in the water bath, all the grease runs out into the water. Then you transfer them to the money shot with the pretty little peppers sitting on top of the tomato sauce.
Meatloaf stuffed pepper.
Hamburger and rice and herb stuffed pepper.
Sloppy Joe stuffed pepper.
Here's my meatloaf.
Here's my plate. And damn. I got a smudge on my lens over the tomato sauce. Rosie's take on her stuffed peppers: 
First off, I'm not a big fan of hamburger meat.
That said, the stuffed peppers were good, very good.
Especially with the addition of the tomato sauce.
And I put the carrots in the tomato sauce
 because that gives it a bit of natural sweetening. The Rajma? I likee. Very spicy. Not one of Mr. Hawthorne's favorites, but he can be a pussy sometimes when it comes to hot and spicy and bold flavors. Youngest Hawthorne really liked it and the next day I found him scooping up the leftover Rajma in Tostitos Scoops. The Southwestern? Out-freakin-standing. I knew at the time it was going to be my favorite and it was. Absolutely wonderful. I loved all the flavors. Just excellent. Oh my. I'm hating myself now. I've used the words "absolutely" (Which I absolutely hate. Since it's nothing but filler by talk show hosts, bad newscasters, and others who have nothing better to add.) and "excellent" (Which is like "delicious." It means everything and it means nothing.). All within the same paragraph. I suck.
But the peppers didn't.
And that's what counts. Enjoy my stuffed peppers. I know I did. And a big thank you to Angela from Wisconsin for inspiring this meal. Angela, I hope this is what you wanted and I hope you like it. Thank you, for your "JustAskRosie" request. And if anyone has any culinary questions, please don't hesitate to "JustAskRosie" at
I'll do my best to answer.


Marilyn said...

Looks lovely. Too bad my family hates peppers. Silly people.

Creative Classroom Core said...

We get our peppers from a local farmer near our house, and just love them. Ive been thinking of stuffing them for some time, but have been looking for a good recipe to do so. Now I have 5! Thanks so much for sharing! Yum!

Rose II said...

Delicious! Rosey, I'm always amazed by your teensy portions. I eat more than you do, and I have a gastric lapband! How do you exhibit such restraint?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Rose, I stay well-fed. And lots of times I taste as I go along (Well, not raw meat, but I was doing some serious hitting on the beans and corn.).

Finsmom - All were good, but my favorite was the southwestern style.

Mar - try the southwestern on a tortilla or in a burrito. (My post of that to follow.)

Hairball T. Hairball said...

I really like that first picture of the peppers with the shadows. Very nice!

Donna-FFW said...

You are amazing, an absolutely amazing cook. And such a nice person to help those of us with questions out. I think the southwestern would be my favorite!

Anonymous said...

5 ways!! Holy crap Rosie, you out-did yourself! Thanks so much for tackling this. I want to come over for dinner!!

Angela in WI

Unknown said...

Fantastic! I just made a hybrid... I call it the "Sloppy Southwestern" They're going in the oven in an hour. Can't wait!