Italian – Spanish Stuffed Bell Peppers
I prepared stuffed peppers a few weeks ago and was very pleased that I had gone back to a good old-fashioned family dinner dish, a few changes of course. This week the peppers at the farm stand were just the perfect size again and considering the fact that I had frozen enough of the last batch of stuffing mix and fresh tomato sauce for another 5 stuffed peppers. I had another easy weeknight dinner ready with just a few minutes of prep work.
I’m sure that a lot of people have wonderful family stuffed peppers recipes, but I’ve never collected but a few from friends and I seldom make them. While I recall having them in the fall and winter months, summer seems like the perfect time with bins of peppers filling the vegetables stands and cost less than the grocery store…Sadly I bought two peppers at the grocery store for 99¢ each and was on sale.
Cissy suggested a recipe for “two” that she had tried and I fully intended to make the peppers for two, but quickly found that I didn’t have ground beef. I did have tons of fresh homemade sausage though so the recipe was immediately undergoing reconstruction to be known as Italian stuffed peppers until I spied a package of Michael’s favorite Spanish rice. Manchego and Parmesan cheeses would do nicely in place of the cheddar cheese listed in the recipe ingredients.
With highly seasoned ingredients on hand already I skipped pepper and salt for seasonings, a sprinkling of parsley and a few other fresh herbs were added to the mix and a thawed out homemade tomato sauce combined with fresh salsa would be in the stuffing and over the peppers…
I cut the tops off the peppers (used in the stuffing) and microwaved them for about 1-1/2 – 2 minutes to soften a bit before stuffing. Add some sauce to a lightly oiled baking dish; spread a few tablespoons of sauce to the bottom of the dish, add peppers, top the peppers with some sauce, salsa and grated cheeses bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes.
Take advantage of the smaller peppers available at the farm stands if you come across them and use any recipe that appeals to you…I plan on another run to the stand so that I can make several more stuffed peppers and freeze for another time. Another new family favorite.