Friday, August 29, 2014

Stuffed Mexican peppers

I am a big fan of peppers. Green, red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers, hot banana peppers, or the milder poblano peppers, I love em all. You will always find peppers in my refrigerator. Eat them raw, enjoy them cooked, super delish as crudites, add to stir-fries, add to salad, chop-em, stuff-em. This super versatile vegetable is a staple in our house. And whenever I have more time on hand to cook, I like to stuff these beauties. Stuffed peppers exist all over the world in different forms and flavors. They can be filled with any combination of grain, meat, beans, and sauces making them the ultimate leftover and pantry cleaning source. 

These Mexican - inspired stuffed green peppers are filled with a blend of brown rice, black beans, and corn. They are hearty, delish and a great option for a vegetarian meal. You can use Poblano peppers instead of the sweet green ones or even multi-colored peppers for a pretty presentation. 

Variation to the rice and beans stuffing:
  • Substitute rice with quinoa.
  • Add some cooked ground chicken instead of corn.
  • Use leftover filling to make tacos, burritos or nachos.
  • Serve smothered in enchilada sauce.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
4 large green peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic minced
2 large tomatoes crushed
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt to taste
1 jalapeno pepper chopped fine
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded cheese
  1. To make the stuffing, heat oil in a pan and add onion and garlic. Cook till pink and add oregano, cumin powder, and paprika. Saute for 10 seconds before adding the crushed tomatoes.
  2. Cook for 2-3 minutes till oil separates from the sides. Add corn and jalapeno and saute for another 3-4 minutes till corn is cooked through.
  3. Add the beans and rice and salt to taste. Turn off the heat and mix everything till well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep aside. 
  4. Preheat oven to broil.
  5. Wash peppers and pat dry. Cut in half vertically and remove seeds keeping the stem intact.
  6. Sprinkle with a little salt and spray with a little oil and place peppers on a greased baking sheet cut side down. Broil for 4-6 minutes till peppers get slightly charred and soft. Remove from oven and turn over. 
  7. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  8. Fill peppers with the filling, and top with cheese. Back in the oven, cook for 15-20 minutes till cheese melts and peppers are cooked to your preference. Serve hot.

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