A couple of days ago I was cruising the Instructables food section and happened across someone’s entry for stuffed peppers. Instant cravings set in as it has been a while since I’ve made this. These days my time is severely budgeted, which for me is a harsh reality. Normally I am quite a snobbish foodie towards ingredients and cheating at steps. My other foodie friends will mock some of my chosen ingredients, but for this dish it works.
The whole point of this dish is to have something that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours versus the 40 minutes it takes from start to finish. Even clean-up has been reduced as some of the steps have made things not quite as messy. Cheat further and use disposable lasagna pans as I did, yes my Hippy friends will be mortified, ah well; what they don’t know won’t hurt them…. Right?
The trick here is the fact that for this dish you can get away without caramelizing the onions which knocks off about 10 minutes. Your still cooking them, it’s just they get tossed in with the rice prior to cooking. This still allows a full rich oniony flavour to be imparted to the rice, but cuts down on the time, and the fat content – win win. Second, by pre-steaming the peppers you cut down on the oven time for this dish. The water used to boil the peppers is what you dilute the sauce with, so the flavour loss is re-introduced back into the dish – tricky!
This recipe is engineered to be half and half. Half for meat lovers and half for vegetarians. It feeds about 12 people with a pepper per person. Serve with some crunchy buttered french bread and a small salad and everyone will be happy
A note on the vegetarian - this uses Paneer, a cheese of Indian origin. I use the pre-packaged variety as it works better being pressed. By all means though, if you have access to fresh paneer that's quite firm use it instead!
Step 1: Ingredients
- 12 Green bell peppers – sweet pepper lack the needed bitterness
- 3 cups basmati rice
- 5 cups water
- 2 large onions
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 Vegetarian bouillon cubes
- ¼ cup garlic powder, ¼ cup onion powder “mix these 2 together”
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb ground beef – regular
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 large cans – tomato sauce
- 2 lasagne pans
- Worcestershire sauce