When Life Gives You These……(Stuffed Peppers)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

bell-peppers

You really just HAVE to make these……

stuffed-peppers5

 

I saw these stunning red bell peppers at the market the other day, and they stopped me in my tracks. Not only were they gorgeous, but they were HUGE and perfectly shaped! The minute I laid eyes on them, I knew that being stuffed and baked was their destiny.

I hadn’t made stuffed peppers in eons, and frankly, I wasn’t sure I even remembered how. But, after a quick phone call to Mom, and a little surfing around on Food Blog Search, I knew just what to do.

I decided to start with a basic stuffed pepper recipe, using a combination of ground beef, veal and pork mixed with rice for my filling. I used a short grain Valencia rice because I already had an opened package in my pantry, but you can use any kind of rice you’d like. After the peppers were stuffed, they were baked in a bath of tomato sauce. For a bit of a Greek flair, I added some cinnamon to both the filling and the accompanying tomato sauce. For a little oomph, I added some smoked paprika to both as well.

And the tomato sauce! I must tell you about that sauce. I did something with it that I have never done before. In addition to the regular cast of characters, plus the cinnamon and smoked paprika, I also whisked in a can of tomato soup. Yes, you heard me, TOMATO SOUP! Why, you ask? Well, first of all, I wanted to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Secondly, I also wanted the sauce to have a touch of sweetness, which I thought would complement the cinnamon. Thirdly, I’m just crazy like that sometimes.

stuffed-peppers4

 

Did it work? A resounding YES! This tomato sauce was so velvety, that it was almost creamy. It had a warm, mellow, slightly spicy/sweet flavor that kept improving the longer it simmered. In fact, I made some meatballs out of the leftover filling and simmered them in the leftover sauce the next day. I served them over some plain, boiled potatoes and I swear, people, magic happened!

These stuffed peppers are definitely something best saved for a lazy weekend day. To do them right, you’ve got to take your time. But, it is oh, so worth it! You also have to judge exactly how long to bake them. The time will vary depending upon the size of your peppers. As I said, mine were very large, so I did have to add a good thirty minutes to the baking time. If you use smaller peppers, you probably won’t need that much time.

I served the stuffed peppers with a green salad, tossed very simply with some olive oil and vinegar, and a loaf of very crusty French bread. That’s all you need. This dish is extremely hearty, satisfying and filling. All of us here at Chez SGCC adored it! In fact, I think I noticed Mr. SGCC’s eyes roll back in his head a little as he took his fist bite.

stuffed-peppers3

 

Now, I know it’s Tuesday, and Tuesday is TWD day, but this week’s recipe was Dorie’s Chocolate Armagnac Cake, chocolate being the operative word here. It is basically another dense, rich, flourless chocolate cake made with prunes and brandy. I’ll be honest with you, people. After all of the chocolate that has passed through my kitchen in the past week, I couldn’t bear the thought (or expense) of making One. More. Chocolate. Dessert. Even I have my limits! In the past seven days, I have made chocolate covered Caramel Crunch Bars, a flourless Chocolate Valentino Cake and not one, but TWO kinds of chocolate truffles. I’ve gone through three pounds of Guittard and Valrhona chocolate, pounds of butter and countless eggs. Melted chocolate has adorned my cabinets, countertops, walls and me! By the time I was through, I could have passed for a great big, giant chocolate truffle myself! So, I hope that you’ll forgive the transgression, but I just couldn’t do chocolate again. If you’re in a chocolate mood, please stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie Blogroll to see lots of Chocolate Armagnac Cakes. If you’d like the recipe, you can find it at Lyb’s site, And Then I Do the Dishes.

Enjoy!

50 responses to When Life Gives You These……(Stuffed Peppers)

  1. On March 03, 2009 at 12:37pm, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    Those are the most luxurious looking stuff peppers I’ve ever seen.

    No worries about the chocolate cake. Why eat a chocolate cake with prunes in it anyway? You know, lately I’ve been reconsidering buying expensive chocolate. People often don’t finish their desserts after dinner and why buy expensive chocolate if half a piece of cake is left on everyone’s plate anyway?

  2. On March 03, 2009 at 12:45pm, Tanya said...

    I didn’t even read the entire post before thinking I had to leave a comment just for those gorgeous pics of the peppers! Roasting peppers is my favorite way to use peppers. Gorgeous!

  3. On March 03, 2009 at 1:23pm, Peter M said...

    I am going to coin a new word..these are “gorgeousilissimmo”!

    Now I want another batch of stuffed peppers…the red ones are the best, eh?

  4. On March 03, 2009 at 1:24pm, Ginny said...

    Gorgeous! I would have to have them too… i love it when something just starts flirting with you at the store and you know what you want to make that night…

  5. On March 03, 2009 at 1:56pm, Tangled Noodle said...

    These peppers are extraordinarily beautiful! I might have thought it a shame to roast them if the end result wasn’t equally fantastic. Way better than chocolate today!

  6. On March 03, 2009 at 2:10pm, Nina Timm said...

    Hell’s Bells, this looks good!!!! I am inspired just looking at the peppers, you must have been over-the-moon!!

  7. On March 03, 2009 at 2:41pm, 5 Star Foodie said...

    Gorgeous peppers, and a terrific recipe! I love the mixture of different meats and the tomato sauce sound really good!

  8. On March 03, 2009 at 3:09pm, Meg said...

    Oh wow! I never thought about stuffing red peppers! Delicious!

  9. On March 03, 2009 at 3:12pm, Medena (-Melitta-) said...

    Mouthwatering delicious!!!
    I make them quite similar, well minus the fabulous tomato sauce part! Awesome recipe!

  10. On March 03, 2009 at 3:40pm, Claudia said...

    All your photos are so well done. I love red bells and splurge on one quite often. They’re very expensive here though – almost $7 a lb. I should probably be growing them.

  11. On March 03, 2009 at 3:53pm, Hillary said...

    I love that you have roasted your peppers. This is a great touch!

  12. On March 03, 2009 at 3:54pm, pigpigscorner said...

    They look perfectly roasted! The filling looks and sounds yummy!

  13. On March 03, 2009 at 4:09pm, Olga said...

    Great minds think alike :) I just made stuffed peppers yesterday.

    Love the addition of paprika in yours.

  14. On March 03, 2009 at 5:16pm, Vera said...

    Stunning!

  15. On March 03, 2009 at 6:39pm, Jamie said...

    Those peppers went from beautiful to mouth watering! I recently made stuffed peppers for the first time, and stuffed mine with quinoa,spinach, tomatoes and artichoke hearts they turned out so well. I posted the recipe if you want to check them out.

  16. On March 03, 2009 at 6:44pm, duodishes said...

    Actually. The peppers sound more satisfying than the cake. Love how you stood your ground!

  17. On March 03, 2009 at 6:44pm, Passionate About Baking said...

    Stunning, just stunning. Look at what good you brought out of the peppers! There's been a load too much of chocolate all over blogland lately. I'm rolling up my eyes at this gorgeous dish, the flavours & colours Susan. WOW!!

  18. On March 03, 2009 at 7:39pm, Bellini Valli said...

    Stuffed Peppers are just one of those delicious homey dishes that I love so much:D

  19. On March 03, 2009 at 7:52pm, Maria said...

    Great find! The peppers are gorgeous!!

  20. On March 03, 2009 at 7:53pm, Madam Chow said...

    I, too, am suffering from chocolate burnout! At any rate, this dish looks so good – I’m a big fan of peppers and tomatoes, and I love what you did with the sauce. Very creative.

  21. On March 03, 2009 at 8:12pm, noble pig said...

    Oh seriously this is stunning. What a good idea!

  22. On March 03, 2009 at 8:58pm, haleysuzanne said...

    YES! These look amazing – I love stuffed peppers. I can’t wait to try your version.

  23. On March 03, 2009 at 9:05pm, Kristen said...

    Oh wow, Susan! These do look fantastic! Eyes rolling to the back of your head fantastic for sure. Yum!

  24. On March 03, 2009 at 9:31pm, Ingrid said...

    If you would have said to me, hey Ingrid I made stuffed peppers today, I would have been like, oh, cool and gone about my business. But YOUR PHOTOS stopped me in my tracks and has me wondering, like maybe I need to give stuffed peppers a try. Seriously GREAT photos.
    ~ingrid

  25. On March 03, 2009 at 10:16pm, MaryBeth said...

    WOW..fabulous picture the color is slap you in the face gorgeous…

  26. On March 03, 2009 at 11:37pm, Maris said...

    These look so delicious and what’s better is that I’ve been looking for a recipe for stuffed peppers for the longest time! I had some from a Persian restaurant recently and they were good but not great, I know I could make them better!

  27. On March 04, 2009 at 1:20am, Tartelette said...

    I am so making these for my parents this week! They are fabulous!

  28. On March 04, 2009 at 4:40am, joanne at frutto della passione said...

    Those look wonderful Susan. I have been promising my husband stuffed peppers for weeks but I have come out of the craziest February in ages and March looks to be equally insane! But seeing this just may make me forget the madness and head for the kitchen.

  29. On March 04, 2009 at 7:14am, Colleen said...

    OH WOW WOW WOW!! What stunning peppers….will have to try this recipe..you’ve inspired me :o)thanx!!! xxx

  30. On March 04, 2009 at 7:14am, EAT! said...

    No on my list of entrees to make. I have never made a stuffed pepper. Unbelievable, right?

    Peppers have been big, beautiful and cheap at my market this past week. Adding to my shopping list.

  31. On March 04, 2009 at 10:35am, Snooky doodle said...

    these look so good and nice. i love red pepper their taste is sweeter :)

  32. On March 04, 2009 at 10:41am, Elle said...

    These look fabulous! What gorgeous peppers!

  33. On March 04, 2009 at 11:20am, Debbie said...

    The stuffed peppers look great. They are one of my favorite foods. I cooked them stovetop in a dutch oven and they come out pretty good that way too!

  34. On March 04, 2009 at 11:31am, J.Danger said...

    looks good. I usually use my left over peppers to make sandwiches for the hubby but I will definitely try this next time.

  35. On March 04, 2009 at 12:47pm, Elyse said...

    these stuffed peppers look divine! one of my favorites, for sure. can’t wait to try them!!

  36. On March 04, 2009 at 3:44pm, Chez Us said...

    Susan, these photos are drool worthy – WOW! Great job!! I love stuffed peppers I will have to give this recipe a whirl!

  37. On March 04, 2009 at 4:33pm, Marc @ NoRecipes said...

    Great photos Susan. Those peppers really do look quite perfect.

  38. On March 04, 2009 at 7:07pm, Helene said...

    It’s been such a long time since I made stuffed peppers. I’m so hungry looking at these delicious peppers that you made.

  39. On March 04, 2009 at 9:42pm, Elra said...

    Absolutely beautiful Susan, I am sure taste great too.
    Cheers,
    elra

  40. On March 04, 2009 at 10:41pm, AmyRuth said...

    The photos of the beautiful red peppers are so inspiring. Very happy. I love stuffed peppers too. Maybe chocolate cake after for dessert? ha ha ha
    Just kidding. No worries here, but I surely liked it. Its was very good.
    AmyRuth

  41. On March 04, 2009 at 11:13pm, RecipeGirl said...

    Those ARE gorgeous. Makes me want to go to the Farmer’s Market!

    I always forget about stuffed peppers. You can really do a lot with them to make them a low fat meal. Wonder if Mr. RecipeGirl would consider it ‘dinner’ or not? Probably not. But he’s out of town and I’m thinkin’ these look like a great dinner to me!!

  42. On March 05, 2009 at 4:00am, Manggy said...

    Okay, I’ve never had or made stuffed peppers before but I’ve wanted to. And now that I’ve seen your pumped-up version, I now absolfruitly HAVE TO. Why do you do this to me Susan?!? :P Gah, it’s 2AM and I’m so hungry all of a sudden!

  43. On March 05, 2009 at 10:40am, diva said...

    this is beautiful!! and i can already taste it in my mouth. nothing as comforting and fulfilling as roasted stuffed peppers! x

  44. On March 05, 2009 at 3:42pm, Erin said...

    These look delicious! I love stuffed peppers!

  45. On March 05, 2009 at 5:10pm, Karen said...

    These sound delicious and look absolutely gorgeous!

  46. On March 06, 2009 at 8:01pm, Kevin said...

    Great looking stuffed peppers! I like the use of the cinnamon.

  47. On March 10, 2009 at 6:46pm, Gina said...

    These look ammmmazing! I love stuffed peppers, especially red ones!

  48. On March 14, 2009 at 2:56am, Sophie said...

    Yummie yummie, give me sommie :)!!!

  49. On October 12, 2009 at 12:30pm, TheRoosterChick said...

    I tell you, your photos are just the best!

  50. On March 12, 2010 at 9:49pm, Teresa said...

    I admit that this might be an incredibly stupid question, but is the rice supposed to be cooked before you mix it in? I did think about this, because I wasn’t sure how uncooked rice would cook, but I figured oh, it must be from the steam. Just because, you know, the recipe didn’t say for the rice to be precooked.

    But alas, this sooo-close-to-being-wonderful dish came out so sad for me because the rice wasn’t cooked, at all. :(

    Was I supposed to assume it was to be precooked? I won’t lie, I’m not the best at being intuitive with recipes and usually need EVERYTHING spelled out. Thanks for any help!

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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