Stuffed Bell Pepper


by Frank Davis / WWL-TV Cooking Expert

Posted on September 26, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 6 at 1:58 PM

Stuffed Bell Pepper


8 medium bell peppers, split lengthwise and seeded

2 cups cooked long grain rice, heaping

1-1/2 lbs. ground chuck

1 lb. Owens Brand breakfast sausage

1 cup onions, finely chopped

?cup celery, finely diced

?cup green onions, thinly sliced

?cup bell pepper, finely diced

?cup minced parsley

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 can crushed stewed tomatoes, 14 oz. can

2 beef bouillon cubes (crushed)

1 tsp. sweet basil

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

?cup olive oil

2 tsps. Frank Davis Pepper Free Seasoning

3/4 cup French bread crumbs

?lb. Parmesan cheese

?cup melted butter or margarine

?cup white wine + ? cup water

First, start off by cutting the peppers in half from the stem down. Then remove the seeds, the stem piece, and the inside membranes.

Next, place the ground beef and the ground pork sausage in a large stainless steel or Pyrex glass-mixing bowl. Then, in a separate mixing bowl, mix together the onions, celery, green onions, chopped bell pepper, parsley, and garlic, along with the crushed tomatoes, powdered bouillon cubes, sweet basil, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and pepper-free seasoning. After combining everything well, scatter the seasoning mixture over the meat and work it in thoroughly with your hands. Finally, pour the rice into the mixing bowl, too, and work it uniformly into the meat to create the stuffing.

At this point, in a large deep-sided skillet set over medium-low heat, begin browning the meat mixture by adding it to the skillet a little at a time and stirring it continuously as it cooks. When the entire batch is in the skillet and has sufficiently browned, turn off the heat at the exact moment when the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. (Note: The stuffing does not have to be cooked all the way at this stage-it will finish cooking in the oven).

Later, when the mixture reaches room temperature, stuff each half pepper until it takes on a full rounded dome shape. As each one is done, place it into a baking pan. Then mix together the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese and liberally sprinkle it over all the peppers to fully coat them. Top each one with a pat of margarine.

All that's left is to pour the water and wine mixture into the baking pan, tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake the peppers covered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, then uncovered for another 15 minutes to give them a chance to brown.

I suggest you serve them piping hot right from the oven, alongside a bowl of sizzling pan-saut?ed mushrooms and a cold tomato and cucumber salad.


Chef's Notes:

To make the pan-saut?ed mushrooms, place a half-pound of fresh mushrooms into a non-stick skillet, along with 1 tsp. minced garlic, ? cup margarine, a dash of thyme, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Cook over high heat until toasty and browned.

To make the chilled tomato and cucumber salad, mix together in a large bowl 3 medium size ripe tomatoes, 2 peeled and diced cucumbers, 1 small diced red onion, ? cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of salt and coarse-ground black pepper.

The best way to crush the beef bouillon cube is with a mortar and pestle. But if you don't have one, the heel of a chef's spoon will suffice.

Feel free to substitute prechopped and blended vegetable seasonings in place of the individual portions of onions, celery, bell peppers, green onions, and garlic.

If you don't have pepper-free seasoning you can substitute salt and fresh-ground black pepper in its place.