This is very loosely based on something the best girl in the world made when I was fortunate enough to have her visit.
To be honest, I didn’t pay super close attention because I was mesmerized and a bit stunned that someone like her was in my kitchen.
The main part is that the peppers are boiled on the stove instead of the oven, which makes it turn out far more tender.
This recipe is all me, which probably means it is not that great, so do not blame her.
Like I mentioned in the Pirozhki recipe, use good quality cheese, preferably imported from Italy, it makes all the difference. Canned tomato paste in grocery stores kind of blows, if they have it, try the imported tubes of tomato paste. It is so much better.
For the ground meat, get as lean as you can. For poultry, I always get 99% lean and nothing lower than 96% for beef. 80% lean beef is going to come out extremely greasy. :(
Stuffed Bell Peppers4-6 bell peppers
- Make sure that the peppers are all roughly the same height.
- Cut off the tops and remove the ribs inside, and the seeds if you wish.
- Place in a pot where they fit in snugly and where you can fill it with water and not have it boil over.
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper - optional
4 oz tomato paste
4 oz tomato sauce
1 diced Roma tomato, cut as small as you can get it
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 minced shallot
8 oz shredded mozzerella cheese
- Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix and squish it together until it is well mixed.
- Fill each pepper with the mixture, making sure it is fairly snug.
- Remove at least one pepper from the pot to make it easier to fill with water.
- Fill with water to the top of the peppers.
- Replace the pepper.
- Place on high heat until it starts to boil and then turn down the hit a bit so it is somewhere between a simmer and a full rolling boil.Cover the pot.
- Cook until all levels of the meat mixture are at least 160 F for beef or pork and 165 F for poultry. About 40-50 minutes
- Carefully remove the peppers with tongs
Make sure the very top is 165F.
The meat mixture is also excellent formed as patties, grilled, and placed in a grilled sandwich with tomato slices or whatever else you like.
A great thing about this recipe is that it is trivial to swap out spices and types of cheese to make it taste Mexican, Thai, Moroccan or whatever you want.
Next time I make it, I might try to pressure-cook it in my Ninja Foodi, if I do, and it works well, I will report on it.