Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stuffed Green Peppers with Allspice

I typically think of allspice as a baking flavor, especially at the holidays (pumpkin pie, etc.), so I was pleasantly surprised when I looked for a recipe for stuffed peppers and the first one I saw included allspice! The cookbook “From Asparagus to Zucchini” by the Madison Area Community Agriculture Coalition includes drawings of each vegetable, which is helpful for people like me who don’t know what celeriac is or what to do with it! Some of the recipes omit meat, which we’ve tried to do more of recently, but this time I added meat to the pepper recipe (meanwhile, last night we had pasta with “fake meat” tomato sauce).

Here’s what you’ll need for the modifications I made to this recipe:
4 large green peppers (hey, who said they have to be green? Ok, any color you like)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
splash of olive oil
½ cup rice, uncooked
1 cup water
bullion or any other spice flavoring
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 pound ground meat of your choice
¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
½ to 1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup chopped tomato
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sautee the onion and garlic in oil, add rice and stir for a few minutes, then add water, allspice, and bullion or other spice (I used “stew mix” spices because the bullion cubes I have on hand are for 2 cups of water and I have a jar of stew spices that I can measure out). Cook rice until done. In another pan, cook the meat, add almonds, tomato, and when the meat is cooked through, add in the rice and cheese.
While the rice and meat are cooking, slice the tops of the peppers off, remove the seeds, and boil the peppers in water for 2 minutes. I skipped this step and even after baking for longer than the called for 30 minutes, the peppers were still very chewy. Your choice!

Place the peppers in a baking dish and fill with the meat & rice mixture. You may have extra filling that you can serve on the side of the peppers. Next time, I would use a full cup of rice and 2 cups of liquid in proportion to the pound of meat, but half a cup of rice was all I had! Bake for 30 minutes (or longer if you didn’t boil the peppers).

These were the most delicious stuffed peppers I’ve ever had, definitely a repeat recipe. I’ve had plainer-flavored versions in the past, so I’m glad to have discovered the allspice in addition to onion, garlic, and bullion/stew spices (the jar doesn’t list what’s inside it, but there were “green” spices- maybe oregano or thyme and salt for sure). Do you have a "secret" ingredient for stuffed peppers?

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