When I was young, I was a girl Scout and one of the badges that I worked toward was a cooking badge. It must have left quite an impression because cooking is still one of my favorite pass times. To earn the badge we went to a cooking class to learn how to make a meal from start to finish. The meal we made was Spanish Rice. A one skillet meal that was easy to make and we were encouraged to try it at home and cook the meal for our family. I did just that – and it became a meal that I would make quite regularly since my brothers loved it and my mother didn’t have to cook dinner. I wanted to put a new spin on this recipe and make it a bit more grown up and since my pepper crop was getting out of hand, I decided to stuff the peppers with this recipe. I’ve changed up the seasonings a bit and I pre roast the peppers before I stuff them. You can make this a few hours ahead and pop it in the oven when you are ready for dinner. Any leftover meat mixture can be served on the side and added to the peppers at the table. You can stretch this recipe by adding a can or black beans or corn to the meat mixture.
Stuffed Peppers with Spanish Rice
6 large Red Bell Peppers
1 ½ lbs of Ground beef
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 clove of Garlic , minced
1 large can of Chopped Tomatoes (26 ounces)
2 cups cooked Rice
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 can Black Beans or Corn (15 ounces) (Optional)
1 teaspoon Cumin
½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and pepper to taste.
Salsa and Sour Cream for serving (Optional)
Cut the bell peppers in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and any flesh and place them on a baking sheet. Place them in a 400 degree oven and roast for 15 minutes until they just start to become soft. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
In a large deep sided skillet, saute the Onion in the Vegetable Oil until the onion is Transparent. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the ground beef and fry the beef until it is cooked through and no red is remaining. Add the Chopped tomatoes and Beans (Or Corn) if you are adding beans or corn to the recipe. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add the Cumin, Red Pepper flakes and salt and Pepper. Stir to combine.
Place a layer of the cooked rice evenly in the red peppers. Next place the beef mixture into the red peppers filling them generously but not letting it spill over the sides of the pepper. Add the shredded cheese and place in the 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Serve any extra beef mixture on the side. Place a dollop of sour cream on the top of each pepper and serve immediately.