My mother came up to SF to have dinner with me and help me finish unpacking, oh the joys of moving! I made Stuffed Peppers, Broccolini with White Cheddar Cheese Sauce, and an Arugula Salad. The dinner went great and we made a Carrot Cake afterwards, recipe maybe to follow.
1 lb. lean ground beef or chicken (I used 94% lean ground beef)
5 bell peppers - 1 finely diced, 4 chopped in half length wise cleaned of all the ribs and seeds
1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp marjoram (optional)
1 tsp - 1 tbsp salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground chili powder
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can of tomato sauce or 1/2 box of Pomi tomato sauce (picture below)
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 cup brown rice
1/2 cup water (optional)
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for grating on top
In a deep and wide saucepan heat up 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Saute the chopped pepper, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook till onion is translucent on moderate heat, about 5-9 minutes. Remove all the vegetables from the pan. Add the remaining olive oil and sear the ground beef (on medium high heat) till cooked, breaking it up into bits, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining cooked vegetables and stir to combine. Add the bay leaf, the herbs (minus the parsley), the tomato paste and the water and stir to combine. Add the tomato sauce (you may need more or less depending on the dryness of the meat), brown rice, and stir. Taste for seasoning, adjust to your liking. Turn to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking dish or cookie tray with foil and drizzle olive oil on the pepper halves, facing upwards. Season with some salt and pepper as well and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes till the peppers give a little and aren't entirely crisp. Pull out and let cool.
After the sauce has been simmering away, retaste the sauce and adjust for seasoning, add the fresh parsley. Spoon mixture into each pepper so it's completely stuffed. Spoon a tsp of tomato paste on the top of the stuffing and grate some Parmesan cheese on top and put back in the oven. Let cook for 10-25 minutes depending on how soft you want your pepper and how crispy you want the Parmesan cheese to get.
Take out of oven, let cool and serve with a salad and a green vegetable.