Saturday, June 18, 2005

Grilled Stuffed Bell Peppers (Updated)

I was wandering around in the produce section of the grocery store today and noticed colored bell peppers on sale--$0.99 each. I love colored bells, so I bought two yellow and two red.

We cook with bell peppers a good deal when they are available for a reasonable price, but I don’t really need four whole peppers diced up right now and I hated to freeze fresh peppers so soon after buying them.

After looking through the fridge and pantry, I decided to make stuffed bell peppers for dinner—on the grill. As you may know, stuffed peppers usually consist of a mixture of meat, spices, and cheese, baked in the oven. Since I didn’t think that the peppers could stand cooking on the grill long enough to get the meat stuffing properly cooked, I precooked the stuffing in the skillet and things worked out well. Regarding ingredients, I used what I used, but you can feel free to experiment with your own combinations of sausage, beef, pork, lamb, and different cheeses like Monterey jack, Swiss, cheddar, you name it.

Here is what you will need to make my version of stuffed colored bell peppers:

Three large colored bell peppers

1 tbsp olive oil
¼ onion, diced fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 clove garlic, pealed and diced very fine
½ lb ground beef
1 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
black pepper

1 package Lipton Fiesta Sides Mexican Rice

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

First things first—fire up your charcoal grill. I use charcoal with an electric starter—a thing that gets hot like the eye of an electric range—in order to avoid using lighter fluid. I hate eating food that smells like someone poured kerosene on it. Call me a charcoal snob, and use a gas grill if you must…

I ‘ve been using the Lipton Fiesta Sides instant rice for a while now. It produces good results, fast. Cook it according to the package directions (it’s done in 7 minutes); else make your own plain white or brown rice. You’ll need about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of finished rice, regardless of how long it takes to cook.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat, adding your olive oil. Sautee the onions for a couple of minutes, then add the celery and cook another couple of minutes. Now add the garlic and cook until the onions are clear.

While the veggies are sautéing, slice your peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and “gills.” Brush the outside of the peppers with a little olive oil and distribute ½ cup of mozzarella cheese equally inside the pepper halves.

Add the ground beef and Worcestershire Sauce and cook until the beef is lightly browned. Stir in ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, turn off the heat, and let everything cool.

Redneck Update (June 27th): I cooked stuffed bells again this evening and realized that in the original recipe write up I forgot to mention adding the cooked rice to the meat/veggie/cheese mixture at this time. Please accept my appology Ladies and Gentlemen.

Spoon the cooled meat/veggie/cheese/rice mixture into the pepper halves and top with a little extra cheese (I used parmesan.)

Meanwhile back at the grill, spread out your coals (gas grill users—adjust your flame to a height less that three feet) and brush your grill grate with olive oil or spray it with a non-stick spray.

Place the stuffed peppers on the grill and go fix yourself a drink—you’re almost done. Let the peppers cook for ten or fifteen minutes (depends on how hot your grill is), then move them round and turn them 90 degrees and make sure that they are not burning. When you can’t wait any longer, pull them off the grill, place them on a plate, and EAT.

Enjoy Y’all,

The Redneck Gourmet


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