Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stuffed Peppers Ala Claudia

Yet another recipe just at the right time.  After a week in Florida and rain on the way, I decided to give my pepper crop a hard picking, leaving only the nearly ripe and smaller ones to allow them to grow some more if they will before frost.  When Bev got up, I had just read the recipe for Mom’s Italian Stuffed Pepper from Claudia over at What’s Cooking Italian and when I suggested them for dinner, I got a quick yes.  It always gets my attention when a recipe title begins with "Mom's" or "Grandmom's".

I headed off to the garden about mid-morning and as you can see, it’s all done except for the peppers, which have topped their 4’ cages and grown back down to the ground. 
This is what I picked - the two right buckets are sweet and the others are chiles.  I'll probably get a couple more buckets full at the final picking.

These are the sweet ones after washing and our sink is 9” deep – the ones to the right are for stuffing.

And the chiles (Poblanos, Anaheims, Sante Fe Grande) ready for roasting.

For the stuffed peppers, we decided to double and change up the recipe (Bev didn’t want to do the boiled eggs, or use as much rice, and wanted some onion and I wanted some Italian sausage in it) so this is what we ended up with.

Italian Stuffed Peppers – adapted from What’s Cooking Italian

10 fairly large peppers cleaned - see below
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 egg beaten
2 ¼ lbs raw ground round – 90% lean
¾ lb sweet Italian sausage – I used Johnsonville
1 cup raw long grain rice
1 teaspoon oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, salt and basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 oz can of tomato sauce

Sauce:
  • 1 qt home canned chopped  tomatoes put through food processor with little chunks left – (we used the immersion blender)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cloves whole garlic
Slice the top of each pepper off with a sharp knife, remove the stem leaving a circle in the top of the pepper, then slice the bottoms so they are flat when standing up ( about a 1/4 of an inch).  Rather than cut the top off from the side, I cut around the core, leaving on some pepper top as I think it helps them hold their shape.  Scrape the inside using a melon ball scooper or spoon (I used a serrated grapefruit spoon) to make smooth. Save scraps of peppers.  (Due to how I cored them, I had very little scrap so I cut up a pepper with a bad place and used it).

Mix together the raw meat with rice, herbs, bread crumbs, onion, and small can of sauce and stuff the peppers.

Spray your pan with cooking spray and add the peppers.

In a medium size bowl, mix the canned tomatoes and wine together, pour around the bottom of the pan, and add the garlic cloves. Sprinkle with grating cheese and add any scraps of peppers around the pan. 

Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes, if the bottom looks evaporated, add some water to the sauce. Keep basting the tops with the sauce (I basted every 20 minutes).

Add more cheese to the top when serving.

Bev had a hankering for scalloped potatoes, so she whipped up a batch by adding a little evaporated milk to a dish then layering potatoes, onion, butter, and cheddar cheese until the dish was full then pouring evaporated milk over it all - one can total.

Here’s my plate.

I cooked the peppers for an hour at 375* on convection bake, but they needed more as the rice and peppers were still a little crunchy.  Claudia’s recipe calls for 400* for 45-60 minutes and I backed off as our oven cooks hot, but not hot enough, plus my peppers were larger.  This aside, we loved the flavor, and will definitely use the recipe again, maybe starting with cooked rice so we won’t have to worry about the right amount of moisture for it.  Bev’s potatoes were also very good.  Thanks Claudia for the inspiration for a delicious meal.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.  See Link for more of the header sunset. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.



Larry

16 comments:

  1. that is quite the pepper haul!

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  2. I skim-read to get to the comments - will then revisit the post photos and text to enjoy your a glorious bounty.

    Oh my, Larry and Bev - this is the last of your harvest! I know you will treat all of these beautiful, luscious peppers so very well. I wish you happy eating and cooking now, and through Winter.

    Sending care and huggles from Wellington, New Zealand (I will get blogging again soon, promise!!!)

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  3. I am with Pam, what a pepper haul!! I also love your version of stuffed peppers. They look delicious.

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  4. Quite a harvest! And those stuffed peppers & potatoes look delish. I also prefer to use cooked rice in my peppers for that very reason. Have a great week!

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  5. WOW! I am so envious of your pepper crop! I believe you can never have too many peppers! :)
    Stuffed peppers always remind me of growing up... oh how I did not like them when my mother made them. But now, now I wish I had been kinder to her about them because I do so love them at this point in my life!

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  6. That's quite the bumper crop of peppers!! Beautiful stuffed bells, the colors are great!! I love the ingredients you chose to stuff the peppers with. The potatoes look delicious, too!

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  7. Thanks for the shout these came out spectacular

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  8. Yum, that looks good enough to eat! and cannot believe all the peppers you have. If it hadn't been for our hoop house, we might not have had any... which reminds me to go pick the rest of them. Seems it dipped into the mid 30's last night. That's pretty well the end for us.

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  9. OMG!!! My invitation for dinner must've gotten lost in the mail. I'm salivating here and would love to have all of this. Stuffed peppers are the best and those potatoes are causing me fits. YUM, yum, yum!!!

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  10. I'm in awe of that pepper crop. I LOVE it. I can't wait to see that kind of harvest from my own garden. Your dinner sounds delicious too.

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  11. Hi Larry! First, I'd like to thank you for emailing me to check on me. Second, I've missed checking in on YOU! We had a good year for peppers up here, but I didn't have near as many. I pick baskets, not buckets. This recipe looks delicious!

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  12. I am loving the assortment of peppers from your garden-the variety is awesome.

    I love stuffed peppers. It was a common dish along with stuffed cabbage. Your post is reminding me that I need to get on the stick and make stuffed peppers, and cabbage rolls too.

    What part of Florida did you drive though?

    Velva

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  13. Oh my lord Larry! Look at all those peppers - you lucky guy! The stuffed peppers look amazing and Bev's potatoes have me drooling. YUM!

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  14. That is quite a haul. Nights are cold here and the only thing I still have are green tomatoes. It's time for relish around here. I envy you the peppers.Have a great evening, Larry. Blessings...Mary

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  15. I haven't had stuffed peppers in forever. Love the Italian twist with the sausage. Impressive pepper harvest Larry.

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  16. *%&$! I KNEW I should have raided your garden while you were in Florida..... ;)

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