Friday, October 12, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers

My little pumpkins!
 I spent part of last weekend gleaning. I like that word. Kind of like “cleaning” but more glamorous.  Tipi Produce, in Evansville, WI, has supplied my neighbor and me with vast amounts of produce for the past few months via our shared CSA. On a recent weekend, in the throes of harvest season,Tipi Produce founders Beth Kazmar and Steve Pincus invited all the CSA members to their farm to take the remnants of their organically grown produce.  While my kids were enticed by the promise of pumpkins, I was looking forward to picking some peppers. 

Whipping his sisters into shape
Forty-five acres is bigger than I thought! Rows of carrots, fennel, tomatoes, peppers, kale, broccoli, watermelon, raspberries and many other vegetables stretched out across the farm,  creating a rainbow of green ribbons. Immediately after we arrived, the kids ran to pick out their pumpkins. After loading them into our car, I took my son to the farthest part of the farm to pick peppers. As we jogged out there, he said, “we should make stuffed peppers!” Onions, beef, garlic, tomatoes, brown sugar...he rattled off the ingredient list. How could I refuse to take this opportunity to cook with him? I couldn’t. We picked 5 beautiful red bell peppers, added them to our bucket of carrots, watermelon, poblano peppers and raspberries and headed home, our mouths watering as we talked about our meal.

Chopping peppers
The next day when my son came home from school we got to work. He chopped garlic, peppers, and onion. We browned beef, added herbs, tomatoes, grated cheese and cooked rice. We boiled the peppers briefly and in no time, they were ready to stuff.  We popped them in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, and presto--dinner. The greatest reward? Cooking with my son. 

Stuffed and ready to go

Warm Cheesy stuffed peppers

Stuffed Peppers

4 red bell peppers, top ½ inch and ribs and seeds removed

olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 ripe poblano, seeded and chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
½ cup grated cheese
salt to taste

Prep your pots and pans!
Heat oil in skillet.
Bring stock pot of water to boil.
Put a little oil in bottom of a baking pan.
Preheat oven to 350

Cook it up!
Brown beef in skillet. Add onions and cook until softened.
Add minced garlic, poblano and diced tomatoes, and cook a few minutes, stirring as needed.
Add remaining ingredients except cheese. (though I would actually add cheese to it next time to increase yummy factor.
Add salt to taste
When water is boiling, submerge cleaned, cut peppers for about 3-4 minutes.
When peppers are cool enough to handle stuff them with the meat mixture, then top with cheese.

Bake it!
Bake in a baking pan uncovered at 350 for 20-30 minutes til cheese is golden.

Eat it!
I think you got that part figured out. Though my son tried to eat his like a burrito.