I’m in a fruit and veggies state of mind (sorry I just saw Billy Joel in concert over the weekend). I used to be diligent about going to the local produce stand (which isn’t all that close to me) each weekend and stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies. Up until this past weekend, I don’t think I’ve been there all year. Pathetic. And then when I go to my sad grocery store, I complain each and every time because the produce section is inevitably out of something I specifically went there to get and I wonder why I didn’t go the extra few miles to the produce stand. The peppers in these Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers were one such missing item from my grocery store after having seen bags of them for weeks. Then poof! They were gone. Along with the purple cauliflower and the bags of cherries the store had advertised as being a special price in their circular. But I had my heart set on making these little snacks so I hopped in Zelda (my car) and drove to another grocery store farther away which I knew had a better produce department. The store stinks (literally, P.U.) …but the produce is good. And I walked away, satisfied, with a huge bag of these baby bells.
Baby bell peppers are blistered in a skillet before being halved and stuffed with a mixture of cooked ground meat (I used turkey but the recipe calls for pork), poblano pepper, onion, garlic, spices, fresh cilantro and Muenster cheese. After a quick trip to the oven, the cheese melts and these guys are ready to go. Sure, stuffing the peppers is the most time consuming part but when it’s all said and done, these peppers are the perfect one or two bites. The poblano gives a subtle kick and the ancho and chile powders add a punch of flavor. Make these as an appetizer or as a unique little lunch. People will walk by and wonder what colorful lunch you are having.
If you like these, definitely try Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the baby bell peppers in a single layer and cook, turning, until the skins blister and start browning, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion, poblano, garlic, cumin, oregano, ancho and chipotle chile powders and 1 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the onion and poblano are tender, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and add the turkey. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and thoroughly cooked. Remove from the heat; let cool.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Make a slit in each baby bell pepper with a paring knife, cutting from stem to tip. Crumble the meat mixture into small bits, then stir in the cilantro and cheese. Stuff 2 to 3 teaspoons of the meat mixture into each pepper using your fingers or a small spoon; transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake until the peppers are hot and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Food Network magazine