Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

4 servings, 9 Weight Watcher Points+

I love stuffed peppers. Stuffed anything is a great way to use up leftovers while creating a homey, savory dish for an autumn meal. This recipe can be tweaked a hundred ways, and will never taste the same way twice; however, every way you fix it, it is going to taste delicious.


Sausage - You can use just about any kind of chopped meat. I used a very savory weiswurst, but you may want to try breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, or chorizo. The meat should be highly seasoned, so if you are using chopped meat such as chicken or ground beef, be sure to season it well.

Tomatoes - The recipe uses canned, diced tomatoes, but I've been making it with roasted tomatoes. The recipe will taste better if you use tomatoes that have been cooked down to about a third or half their volume. You will want some distinct tomato pieces in the recipe.

Peppers - Use any of the following: small or medium sweet peppers, Anaheim peppers, or Poblanos. If your family does not like heat, stick with the sweet peppers. I prefer to roast and skin the peppers before stuffing them. I broil them on all sides until blistered and charred, then put them in a covered casserole or paper bag and let them sweat for five or ten minutes. Then I peel them and remove the stem and seeds.

Seasonings - I season these peppers with taco seasoning, but salt and pepper, some oregano and basil, or some curry spices might be just the ticket, too. Season this dish the way your family likes it.

Cheese - I have used Cheddar, Gruyere, and Pepper Jack. Use the cheese that gives you a cheesy smile.

2/3 c uncooked brown rice, rinsed
1-1/3 c water
4 peppers, roasted, stemmed, and seeded
4 - 8 oz sausage
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained with liquid reserved
2 t taco seasoning (recipe)
other seasonings, to taste
2 oz cheese, (1/2 c) grated

In a saucepan with a cover, heat the water to boiling, add the rice, and cook covered over low heat for 45 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, roast the peppers, and set aside.

Remove any sausage casing. Break the sausage up into a large skillet. Brown the sausage on medium heat. Remove the browned sausage to a plate and set aside. Drain off all but one or two teaspoons of fat from the skillet.

Add the chopped onions to the skillet, stirring to coat the onions with the fat in the skillet. Fry the onions on medium heat, turning them every three minutes or so until they are quite brown, but not scorched. Remove the onions from the skillet to a plate, and set aside.

If necessary, add some oil or fat to the skillet. Fry the mushrooms for about three minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

Turn the heat to low, and add the onions, sausage, and drained tomatoes. Stir to combine and heat. Stir in the cooked rice and taco seasoning. Add some of the reserved liquid from the tomatoes and heat to boiling. Stir in the cornmeal and simmer until the mixture is thickened. Remove from the heat.

Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Stuff each pepper with the sausage/rice mixture. Spray the inside of a casserole with pan spray. Spoon any leftover stuffing into the casserole. Arrange the stuffed peppers in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Sprinkle with some paprika or taco seasoning. Bake for 25 minutes.

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