Sunday, August 28, 2016

Stuffin' Them Peppers!

I've had requests for making and freezing my stuffed peppers so here goes.  First the recipe:

Stuffed Green Peppers

2 cups of uncooked rice
Cooked in whatever method you prefer

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 - 15 oz. cans tomato sauce

Approximately 16 sweet peppers, green or red
Shredded cheese of your choice

Cook the rice until well done.  (I like to use half wild rice, half brown rice.)

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet.  Add the onions, garlic, salsa, seasonings and tomato sauce and mix well without further cooking.

At this point since my skillet isn't big enough to hold the rice, too, I transfer the meat mixture into a stock pot, add the cooked rice and mix well.

Either before or after you prepare the meat mixture, prepare the peppers by slicing in half, seeding and removing membranes so each half of the peppers can hold a nice amount of the meat mixture.

I cut my peppers in half top to bottom, so I have close to two identical halves.

Then blanch each prepped pepper half in boiling water for just three minutes.

Remove immediately and place in cold water.  Our well water is extremely cold so I use it rather than submerging the pepper halves in ice water to cool.

Drain pepper halves cut side down.

Next I lay the peppers out, cut side up, on large cookie sheets and slightly mound a portion of the meat mixture in them.

Into the freezer the stuffed peppers go until they're fairly well frozen, then they're either wrapped in freezer paper or put into freezer bags for storage.

When I want to serve some for dinner, I take them from the freezer several hours before the meal, put them into a shallow baking pan and let them defrost (they're really hard as rocks right out of the freezer) on the counter.

Before baking, I sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

To make the process less daunting, I like to cook my rice and prep the peppers (but not blanched) the night before.  Then the next day I make the meat mixture, blanch and stuff the peppers, freeze and wrap.

The last batch I made I had 22 peppers, but they were all medium to small in size.  The number of 16 peppers noted in the above recipe would be about 16 medium to large ones.

I've been tweaking this recipe for years, but I think I have it the way I like it now.  Needless to say, you can change any of the seasonings to suit your own taste or cut the recipe in half if you don't want to make so many of them.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and I'll be glad to clarify anything that isn't clear. 

Kristen, sorry it took so long to get this to you.  Bobbie, you certainly can used defrosted ground beef in the recipe.  That's what I always have.


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Thank you for posting this. That recipe sounds perfect! -Jenn

Weekend-Windup said...

Yummy dish! I think it has a long process to be carried out.

Sue said...

Always interesting to see how different everyone's recipes are. My hubby grew up on stuffed peppers that had NO rice in it....just ground beef , tomato sauce with seasoning. I had the rice in it. Couldn't imagine it without!
Have a good week. My garden is JUST about empty-still working on the corn and tomatoes but pulled my peppers yesterday. I think the freezer is STUFFED just like your peppers-Ha!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe. My yellow peppers are just about ready.

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - You're very welcome!

Mama Pea said...

Weekend-Windup - Seems like a long process, yes, but such an abundance of "convenience" meals when you're done!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Yep, I'll bet there are more recipes for the filling of stuffed peppers than we can imagine. I'm not a big meat eater so I appreciate the balance of rice in them.

I so envy your "just about empty" garden. I'm not bemoaning our abundance this year, but don't look forward to the "work" involved in putting the garden to bed!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Your yellow peppers will make very attractive stuffed peppers! I had an abundance of red sweet peppers one year and they made for a colorful dish . . . but I didn't care for the taste of the red peppers as much as green.

Susan said...

Trays full of delicious-ness! Papa Pea must be in seventh heaven!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - He is! We've already had one meal of them . . . and he's asking for another!

Michelle said...

I freeze stuff peppers all the time. They freeze so nicely.

Laurie said...

I have never had a stuffed pepper. Can you believe it. Oh, I'm sure I would love them and your recipe sounds delicious, but my husband doesn't like peppers, so I've never made them.

Unknown said...

Thank you Mama Pea! Made them last night with gifted peppers from another gardener. Deeelicious! Just the right amount of heat. I halved the recipe, and froze half of the half. Used half venison and half bear burger. (a lot of halves there
!)A recipe is always better from a tried and trusted source than trying to find one on the internet. Thanks again.

Rain said...

I love stuffed peppers, but peppers became a no-no after my bf and I did an elimination diet and found out they were the biggest culprit of our collected sad, but it's so nice to see all those stuffed peppers ready for the freezer! Your post is inspiring me to do some freezer cooking. Shopping day is Thursday, maybe I'll pick up some foil tins for lasagna. Eggplants are on sale this week...hmmm... :) Oh btw, here is my lemon tree. They are supposed to grow bigger, staying green, then they turn yellow. Lots of the little "buds" have been turning yellow and falling off though sigh, I hope my plant will keep growing!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I don't think a lot of people make stuffed peppers as whenever I've served them to guests they seem impressed. (Good for us that do make them, huh?)

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Your hubby not liking peppers would be a stumbling block! I find if I make them with either red or yellow bell peppers they don't have that "green pepper" flavor. Could you try that?

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - I admire you for having and using the venison and bear meat. We have venison, but have never tried bear meat although there is a bear season here (starts tomorrow) and it's a great sport for many people. Glad you like the recipe.

Mama Pea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama Pea said...

Rain - What a lovely, healthy little lemon tree! I have heard several people who grow them say the buds will occasionally fall of. Thanks for the pic.

Our daughter gets a severe stomachache when she eats green peppers . . . no heartburn, but bad stomach pains. So I understand your problem with them. Good luck with your cooking for the freezer. It's a great way to have "convenience" foods on hand for those of us who don't buy commercial ones!

Kev Alviti said...

Look amazing, wish I was better at growing sweet peppers!

Mama Pea said...

Kev - I couldn't do it without the help of cold frames. This season, however, is producing a boatload for me as we've had such unusually hot, humid weather.

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip for you Mama Pea. Instead of going to all the trouble to blanch your peppers, why not try microwaving them. I use a glass mixing bowl with a little water. Cover with a paper plate and cook on high for 3-5 min. or until your desired texture is reached (maybe less in yours). Don't need to dunk in cold water. Just drain on paper towels until cooled.

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - Thanks for taking the time to comment. I don't have a microwave because I feel it changes the very composition of food to that which the human body cannot properly process. This is just my personal opinion, of course, but the reason I don't use one.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! With all this rain, I should have enough peppers to do this now.