Ok, I know. I should be blogging about new and wonderful dishes I have discovered, or provide you with in-depth insights regarding subjects about which you have absolutely no interest. (Part of my mission statement.) But last evening I was in the mood for one of my winter dinner favorites. Good old fashioned green peppers filled with savory meat, topped with cheese, and served with a big old baked potato. But unlike the stuffed peppers I grew up with, (ground beef, corn, and tomato sauce) my recipe calls for Italian sausage, beer, several herbs (all dried herbs by the way) and enough cheese to satisfy even a hungry mouse’s appetite.
Now granted, there is nothing gourmet about this dish. (You are probably never going to find stuffed green peppers on a restaurant menu.) And there aren’t any new and trendy ingredients like kale or truffle oil anywhere to be found. But for those of us, who live for savory and comforting food, these peppers are perfect. They are relatively easy and inexpensive to prepare, and fairly nutritious to boot.
So berate me if you must for not offering up anything more interesting for your culinary pleasure, but I don’t want to hear squat diddly from anyone until they have at least given these peppers a try. (And I mean that in the most loving way.)
- 3 large or 4 small green peppers
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
- ½ c. chopped onion
- 6-8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 c. beer
- 8-oz. tomato sauce
- ¼ tsp. fennel seed
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 1 T. dried parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 c. cooked rice, quinoa, or cooked grain of choice, opt.
- 1 ½ c. shredded cheese (whatever combination of cheese you happen to have on hand)
After you have sliced the top off the peppers, remove the seeds and membranes. Set aside. Discard the stem, and chop the pepper tops into small pieces. Meanwhile, sauté the sausage until brown; add the chopped pepper tops, along with the onion and mushrooms; cook until onion is translucent. Add beer, turn heat to high and cook off most of the liquid. Reduce heat and add tomato sauce, seasonings, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat and stir in the rice. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the green peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from water and drain. Place in a lightly greased baking dish. Fill each pepper half way, add half the cheese; add remaining meat mixture until it reaches the top of the pepper.
(If you have extra filling, save it and add to scrambled eggs the next morning with a little bit of cheese. Lovely!) Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the meat is starting to brown. Remove from oven, top with remaining cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted. Great served with baked potatoes and a green veggie or salad. Oh, and of course the rest of the bottle of beer.