Mom’s Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers is one of those classic comfort food dishes that my family practically lived on when I was a kid. This recipe my mother got from Adele Davis as mom was teaching herself to cook in the 60s. Like so many of those early recipes, mom has modified them to her taste and style through the years. This one she rarely does exactly the same way twice, she’ll use a different set of herbs and seasoning depending on what strikes her fancy looking through the spice cabinet. Whereas my father is a stickler for details and exact ingredients measurements, mom usually can’t be bothered; she keeps things simple, and improvises as she goes along. While dad’s stuffed bell pepper recipe is terrific, it’s a little too much fuss and bother for her to make. This one is easier and more her style.
Red and yellow bell peppers have a very different flavor than green bell peppers. The red ones especially are much sweeter. Any bell pepper can be used for this recipe; use the type you like the best.
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked white rice (starting from about 3/4 to 1 cup raw white rice)
- 4 to 6 bell peppers (red, yellow, or green), use 4 large, or 6 medium sized
- 1 to 1 1/4 lb of ground beef (ground chuck, 16% fat)
- 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory
- 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped)
- (Can substitute herbs with other herbs such as an Italian herb mix)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
1 If you haven't already made the rice, start cooking the rice following the package instructions (usually 1 cup of raw white rice plus 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.)
2 Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard (compost) the stem and seeds. Place bell peppers cut side up on a steaming rack over an inch of water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil, let steam for 10 minutes.
3 Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, summer savory, marjoram, salt, several turns of black pepper, and rice.
4 Remove bell peppers from steamer pan. Place cut side up in a pyrex or other oven-proof casserole. Gently stuff the peppers with the ground beef rice mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed peppers, along the outside of the peppers, and into the pan. Rub the oil over the outside of the peppers; it will help with browning. Sprinkle the tops generously with paprika.
5 Place on middle rack and cook for 35-50 minutes, or longer, until the meat is cooked through.
Serve with ketchup.