Now Eat This: Stuffed Peppers, No Pink Slime Allowed
I am going to stuff your pepper so hard. You and me, we got some fresh peppers from our neighbor. This is news! We have awesome neighbors. We are stuffing fresh peppers, from an actual garden, and that is that. So fricking good!
Don't ask questions, Listen to me. Do this.
Here is the list:
6 Peppers, par-boiled, assorted colors, tops, seeds and membranes removed
1 ¼ lbs. Ground sirloin
1 tbsp. Corn oil
1 tbsp. Butter, unsweetened
3 Pequin peppers, diced and mashed*
1 Vidalia onion (sweet!)
1/2 c. Celery, minced
1/2 c. Chopped green and red pepper (use the trimmings of peppers)
4 Garlic cloves, minced
½ Handful of fresh Basil, minced
½ Handful of Parsley, minced
Some fresh Oregano, minced
1 14.5 oz. Can of petite diced tomatoes
1 Can of tomato paste (small)
4-6 Drops of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg, beaten to tears
1 c. Cooked rice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c. Breadcrumbs
3/4 - 1 c. Extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated
*Pequins are about the size of a young pea, if not smaller. In lieu of these, use Sriracha sauce. Enough to suit your needs.
Brown more than a pound of ground sirloin. To do this properly, you will have to use real meat. If your ground meat disintegrates in the pan, it's probably that pink slime business that will put everyone in the hospital. My friend has it totally figured out, because she discovered that slime spreads out while real meat requires mashing and breaking with a spatula. Real meat is time intensive and should you waste mine with discounted slime, we will have words. I am HANGRY, don't go there!
Take six of the prettiest peppers that can stand upright and par-boil them for five minutes in salty water. Standing up is important for this pepper recipe. Chill your peppers down with cold water after. Set aside.
Add the butter and oil, onions, garlic, peppers and celery to the meat, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Toss in the fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper, and cook two minutes more. Remove from heat.
Mix this with cooked rice, Worcestershire, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Get your hands in there to really mix it around, and distribute the flavors like you love somebody worth ruining a manicure for. Check the seasoning, and adjust as needed. Now mix in the egg, thoroughly, because you're thoughtful that way!
Line a casserole dish with foil, set the oven to 350º. Turn that mother ON.
Pack the peppers about a quarter inch from the pepper’s rim. Keep in mind that the stuffing with expand, somewhat, because of the egg. Top each pepper with a blend of breadcrumbs and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for one hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the topping forms a golden crust.
Eat this. As soon as it's cool enough to put a forkful in your mouth, eat these peppers like you have not been fed in days. It tastes like summer, Mom's cooking and all of the spicy habits you picked up along the way. Dig in and have as much as you want.
FYI, thank your neighbor for dinner, especially if you want more of those juicy baby head-sized peppers. My favorite part? The after-burps. Pure joy.
Have a great week!