Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

I bought a bag of multi-colored peppers at the produce store on Sunday not knowing what I'd do with them this week. On Thursday I needed something I could prep ahead of time and pop in the oven when I got home after an appointment, so stuffed peppers were a great choice.

My usual recipe can be found here and features Italian flavors and spices. I wanted something different. Mexican, anyone?

I created this recipe on my own.

Ingredients for Sauce
  • 32-oz can tomatoes – I used whole tomatoes with their juices
  • ¼ sm onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • Approximately ½ tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp cumin, and ¼ tsp coriander
  • Approximately 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • ¼ c water

Directions – Sauce

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot
  • Add onions and garlic; sauté 2 minutes
  • Add jalapeno, sauté 1 minute
  • Add chili powder, cumin, and coriander; stir until veggies are coated
  • Add tomatoes and Mexican oregano; bring to a steady simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often
  • Season with salt and pepper, if needed
  • Puree sauce using a handheld immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender. Thin with water if needed.
You can make the sauce several hours to one day ahead of time.

Rest of the Ingredients

  • 6 peppers, tops cut off and cleaned out (I had 2 peppers that didn't stand on their own, so I cut them in half and put them on their sides, like a boat)
  • 1 c cooked rice (I briefly considered using Mexican rice, like the Goya rice in a box, but didn't want to add that much sodium to the meal)
  • 1.5 lbs ground meat
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ of a jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • Spices: chili powder, cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano, Adobo seasoning
  • Cooked sauce
  • Shredded cheese – I used a Mexican blend
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan
  • Add meat and cook until browned and cooked through.
  • Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno
  • Add spices to taste – I added approximately 1 ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp coriander, ½ tsp Mexican oregano, and 1 tbsp Adobo seasoning. Once mixed, taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
  • Add about half of the sauce and let simmer for a few minutes
  • Add just a few pinches of cheese.
  • Coat your baking dish with sauce
  • Fill peppers and place in the baking dish. Note – at this point I covered them and put them in the fridge for 4 hours until I was ready to bake them. If you do this, bring them out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan on putting them in the oven.
  • Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes; top with some cheese and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Everyone loved these, and Jon said he liked them even better than my regular stuffed peppers. They were full of flavor and very moist, thanks to the delicious sauce. Better yet, a stuffed pepper is a full meal – veggie, meat, and starch – all wrapped up in a neat little package.

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