Ok. Now that we have set the stage let's get down to business. If you are looking for a tasty meal that will really wow your date and at the same time won't end up with your kitchen looking like a battlefield, you've come to the right place. Stuffed bell peppers are perfect. The combine tasty ingredients in no time to form a meal that will make people think you can cook after all.
Before you start randomly combining ingredients, here's what you are going to need:
4 Bell Peppers
1 Lb of ground beef.
1 Package of Uncle Ben's Long Grain Instant Rice in the microwaveable pouch.
1/4 of An onion.
1 Fresh tomato.
1 6.5oz can of mushrooms.
1 clove of garlic.
1 can of tomato sauce.
1 small package of cheddar cheese.
Salt and Pepper.
1 large skillet
1 sharp knife.
1 Cutting board.
1 Medium sized bowl.
1 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
1 large spoon.
Access to a microwave.
Are you ready? Feeling confident? You don't want to look foolish on the first date, do you? No? Then grip that knife and let's go.
Step 1: Selecting Perfection
You also have to make sure that the pepper is stable. You're probably making that "The author is crazy face", aren't you? Bear with me on this. When you go to the grocery store you don't usually think about how peppers stand because they are jumbled together like LEGOs. When you pick one up, hold your hand palm up and see if the pepper will stand on its own. This is important so that when you put them in the baking dish they don't fall over and spill the stuffing out. This is something you likely won't discover until it is too late and your date has arrived. Pizza is not a good first impression. Trust me.
Step 2: And Cut and Scoop
The next step is cutting the tops off of the pepper and scooping out those tiny, annoying little seeds. The best way to do this is similar to the way you make jack-o-lanterns. When you cut the tops, angle the blade slightly. This will create an edge that will not allow the top to fall inside the pepper. Next use the spoon to scoop out the seeds. You can also carefully cut away some of the interior pepper if needed. When you are finished you should have a wonderful looking pepper with plenty of room inside for the goodies.
Step 3: It Slices, It Dices, It Makes...
Now is the time that you dice your ingredients until they are as finely chopped as you want. The recipe calls for onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. You also want to take the clove of garlic and smash it. One way to do this is to use the bottom of the spoon and simply crush the clove beneath it.
I'm going to let you in on a secret. This recipe isn't cast in iron. If there is something that you like, go ahead and add it. You could use black olives, avocado, jalapenos if you like spicy... pretty much anything.
Step 4: Where's the Beef?
Use the spatula to separate the meat and then let it sit. After 3-4 minutes, stir the meat and then let it sit. Keep doing this until the meat is totally brown. Congratulate yourself on making the best browned ground beef ever and then move on to the artistic portion of the recipe.
Step 5: Mix Your Concoction. Do It Your Way.
While the ingredients are cooking take the pouch of Uncle Ben's Long Grain rice and put it into the microwave. 90 seconds later you will have perfect rice. Go ahead and add the rice to your mixture in the pan. This will give you a lot of material and it should be smelling very tasty already. Now you can mix in your can of tomato sauce and some cheddar cheese.
Use as much or as little cheese as you like. This is not an exact science. Once everything is in the pan, let it cook for 10-15 minutes.
Go ahead and turn the oven on at this point. Set it to 350 degrees.
Step 6: Put the Stuffed in Stuffed Bell Peppers
Take the peppers and place them inside the 8 x 8 glass baking pan. The peppers should fit just right and hopefully they won't tip over.
Step 7: Bake and Serve
When it is finished, place the pepper on a plate with a nice side dish and serve. I like pineapple because the color contrast is great and the sweetness of the pineapple is good with the flavor of the stuffed pepper.
Sit back and relax because your date is going to be impressed,