Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Creole Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sweet bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, Italian sausage, rice & a Creole tomato sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, slices of Velveeta or your favorite.
Sweet bell peppers stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, Italian sausage, rice & a Creole tomato sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, slices of Velveeta or your favorite.

Creole Stuffed Bell Peppers

I absolutely adore stuffed bell peppers. The Cajun? Not so much.

Remember his aversion to veggies?

Well, the poor bell pepper falls right into that category of any other whole veggie that is stuffed - even though most often the very veggie he is rejecting whole, is mixed in the stuffing anyway! So, as with any stuffed vegetable, he will just eat the stuffing from a stuffed bell pepper, and throw away the pepper.

Silly man. I mean, he eats green bell pepper a lot. How many recipes do y'all see here that contain The Trinity - onion, celery, and ... hello ... green bell pepper? Lots. Sigh.

Needless to say I don't make these nearly as often as I'd like to. The thing is, all veggie hatred aside, I don't think a lot of people make stuffed peppers much anymore. Sad, because as far as I'm concerned, they really are good and not at all hard to make. I mean you've got your meat, a little starch and veggies, all rolled into one, right?

You'll notice that I like to cut my peppers in half lengthwise, cutting from the stem to stern, rather than cutting off the top of a whole pepper and stuffing it that way, so that it is standing up. It's just easier for me to cook them this way, and it stretches out the peppers.

Certainly though, if you prefer them made with the tops cut off, do them that way. Just cut off the upper part, just under the stem and then remove the spines and seeds. Either way, you'll want to parcook the cleaned peppers by dropping them into boiling water or microwaving them. I do mine for about 6 minutes.

I also like to use a blend of ground beef with some Italian sausage. Sometimes I'll even start with some bacon.

To that I add creole tomato sauce - which is basically tomato sauce cooked down with onion, celery and green bell pepper.

Speaking of veggies.... this handheld Food Saver is how I keep things like deli meats and cheeses, as well as blocks of hard and soft cheeses and all of the bits and pieces of onion, celery and bell pepper fresh for the next time I need them. I love, love, love this little gadget.

Because of the cost of food these days, I mostly buy the large family packs of meats or sale meat these days, so I've graduated to a countertop vertical Food Saver too for those meats because the handheld bags aren't recommended for freezing. The handheld unit is perfect for those things that you are in and out of often, so I'm still using this pretty much everyday on something.

Mix in some rice, most often just leftover rice, some seasonings, and some of the sauce, then evenly divide the mixture between all of the peppers. I add some Rotel tomatoes with the remaining sauce and top the peppers off with it.

Add a light sprinkling of bread crumbs if you like - I like the Italian seasoned kind but I've used plain and panko, or no bread crumbs at all if I'm using cheese, which I add at the end, a light sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese or thin slices of Velveeta, whatever you like.

I asked The Cajun to pick me up some sharp cheddar on the way home one day, and he showed up with this.

I needed some shredded cheddar for something that day so it didn't work for the purpose in which I had intended, but, y'all know I love my Velveeta, so I wasn't exactly angry either! I shoved it in the fridge until something came up where I could use it and this seemed right as rain!

By the way, stuffed peppers freeze pretty well, so some of those extra baked peppers above, went into the freezer for a quick flash freeze, after which they were bagged up and will become a quick lunch or dinner for those occasions that I am dining alone in the near future. Defrost and then heat up in the microwave and you've got one speedy meal! You can also prepare these in advance unbaked and freeze them. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or in the microwave on defrost first, before baking.

For more of my favorite Cajun and Creole recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

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Posted by on March 9, 2010
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