Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

We have a farmer's market right down the road from us every Saturday.  Since the weather has been so nice we'll usually walk down there first thing.  They always have a plethora of these huge sweet peppers that I always pass on because I just don't know what to use them for.  Well, now I'm in LOVE.

I've made stuffed bell peppers before but decided to do something with more of a Mexican flare with these.  They roasted down and became sweet and tender which was a perfect combination with the beans and corn.

I had searched for a recipe but there weren't many to choose from.  So I sort of made it up as I went.  I used 1/2 a bag of dry beans because that's what I had.  I just let them soak for 6 hours and boiled them until just tender (about 45 minutes), because I knew I'd be cooking them down some more.  But feel free to use canned!  I also had a red bell pepper that I snuck in and it baked down wonderfully.  I had some extra filling left that we're going to eat with some polenta tonight.  So don't be afraid of leftovers!

Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Peppers
  •  1/2 a bag of dried black beans, soaked and cooked.  Or, 2 cans black beans rinsed and drained.
  • 4 sweet peppers, washed (this would be enough for 8)
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste-we like spicy) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of water
  • Cheese (Mozzarella, cheddar, Mexican blend-whatever you have!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Saute the onion until soft and add the garlic and spices.  Once fragrant, mix in the black beans, corn and water.  You don't want it to be soupy, but the mixture will dry out a little while baking in the oven.

Let this simmer over low heat while you prepare the peppers.  Cut them in half lengthwise, leaving the stems on.  Clean out the seeds and any "meaty" parts.  Lay them in a casserole dish.  I used a 9 by 13 glass dish.  Spoon the bean mixture into each of the halves and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes with the foil on, and remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. 

This is pretty quick to assemble and reheats fantastically the next day.  I made this with some cilantro-lime rice and it was delish!

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