Monday, August 8, 2011

Chili style stuffed bell peppers

Growing up the Kitchen Witch was NOT a pepper fan. From bells to spicy jalapenos, she hated them all. Green bell peppers might not have been spicy but they sure were bitter. And bitter is a flavor that I struggle with to this day. As the years have progressed the Witch has learned to embrace the bell pepper as an ingredient, its bitter green flavor is awesome in so many places - I can't imagine a fajita with out one! But to eat the whole bell pepper is still a bit outside of my comfort zone. Now the Witchs' husband LOVES bitter. And he loves bell peppers. And he's been clamoring for stuffed bell peppers for a while now. So when green peppers went on sale for .50 each I planned my stuffed bell pepper attack. One that hopefully even the Witch would enjoy.

It was a gloomy rainy day the day these were made so a chili style filling seemed in order. The chili style filling also gave me the perfect opourunity to use my Black Canyon chili powder blend from Savory Spice. This stuff is amazing!!! Its a blend of chile peppers, cocoa powder, garlic, toasted onion, Saigon cinnamon and Mexican oregano. The cinnamon and cocoa powder sound strange I'm sure but really they're used often in Mexican cooking, Mole is loaded with cinnamon and cocoa and its delicious!! Don't worry, your chili won't taste like a dessert, rather, it has a spicy flavor that makes you wonder exactly WHAT that delicious component is. The rich flavors blended perfectly with the ground beef, spicy tomatoes, kidney beans and rice in the peppers.

And about those peppers. The Witch decided to blanch them first, to par cook the pepper in an attempt to cook some of the bitterness out of them. It worked pretty well, the peppers were tender yet not mushy, flavorful and not too bitter. The tops of the peppers are diced up and added to the chili mix. And simply because I had it and needed to use it up, I capped each bell pepper with a crown of shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. All in all I have to say I enjoyed the chili filling a lot more than I enjoyed the entire stuffed pepper, but that's my own strange palette at work. The Witches' husband loved the peppers and really liked the chili style filling. If you're looking for a fun retro type dish with great flavors, give this one a try!

Chili Style Stuffed Bell Peppers
makes 4 servings
4 bell peppers
1/2 lb ground beef
1 can tomatoes with jalapenos
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 T black canyon chili powder blend
OR 2t chili powder, 1/4 t ground cinnamon, 1/2 t ground cumin 1/4 t cocoa powder
1/2 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 c cooked rice
1/2 c water
1 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese or colby jack

Bring a large pot of water to boil for blanching the peppers
Preheat oven to 350F

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and pithy membranes. Chop up the tops for use in the stuffing. Dice the onions and mince the garlic.

Salt the water generously and blanch the bell peppers for 5 minutes.

Brown the beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic when been if 1/2 browned. Add the chili powder, salt & pepper, stir well to coat. Cook about 3 minutes until it smells fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, beans and water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and set aside.

In an 8x8 square pan place about 1 cup of the chili filling at the bottom. Place each of the blanched and drained peppers in the pan and fill with the chili mixture. Any remaining filling can be stuffed into the bottom of the pan to help support the peppers. Top each stuffed pepper with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to cool for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 471.4
Total Fat 21.6 g
Saturated Fat 9.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.7 g
Cholesterol 72.5 mg
Sodium 1,185.2 mg
Potassium 698.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 46.2 g
Dietary Fiber 8.8 g
Sugars 2.3 g
Protein 24.4 g


Big Dude said...

They look and sound delicious - I like using the chili flavors.

StephenC said...

Gosh I should have thought of this during 50's week. My mom made stuffed green peppers quite often. I loved them and haven't made them in quite some time.

Jenn said...

Ok, my mom used to make stuffed peppers and I so did not like them... BUT.. had she put this in front of me, I might not have thrown such a fit!!! :) Love the chili style stuffing!

Care's Kitchen said...

These look AWESOME Andrea! It's funny because I used to not get excited over stuffed peppers for the same reason as you and it just seemed like too much pepper but now...I LOVE! This filling is just PERFECT!!!!!

Megan Carroll said...

I love all things peppery... and stuffing things is fun too... great approach.

Faeriecupcake said...

Hi Andrea! My fellow Coloradian:)
These look awesome!!! I just love your blogs! So glad I found you...ha ha!

samia hussain said...

nice post

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