Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fridge dinner - stuffed peppers

One of my absolute favourite things is to be given a challenge of making dinner from what you can find in the fridge and pantry. Friday night I arrived at my friends house laden with all kinds of wonderful produce from Granville Island, she arrived from Costco also laden with purchases.  All this food was for her husbands retirement party on Saturday and neither of us had given any thought as to what we would have for dinner.

Open fridge what is there to use and what did she need using up? 1lb of lean hamburger, an open can of tomato paste, 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes, 4 rather sad looking bell peppers.

Stuffed peppers it would be.

I have no pictures of the making of this, as it wasn't until we were ready to put it in the oven that Nancy said "you should blog this".  Any way here is what we did

1lb ground beef
1/2 large onion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 very large mushroom (you could use several smaller ones or omit altogether)
1/4 cup of rice
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of chopped tomatoes plus 1 small can of tomato juice
1 teaspoon of pepper flakes
A small handful of fresh basil or a teaspoon of dried
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
4 Bell peppers (they don't have to be looking tired but it doesn't hurt)

Put the ground beef in a pot and cook stirring all the time until the meat has lost it's raw look and a lot of the fat has rendered out.  Drain off the fat then add the onion, mushroom and garlic, cook stirring often until the onion is opaque.

Add the rice and stir in to the meat for about a minute then add the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and juice. Normally I would have just added a large can of chopped tomatoes, but there was just a small amount that needed using up and we needed more liquid.

Add the basil pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine.

Cut the top of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membrane place them in a baking dish then stuff with the meat mixture, sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and pour about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the baking dish.

Ready for the oven
Put in a preheated 370 oven for about 1/2 an hour until the peppers are cooked, but not collapsing and the rice is softened.

Ready to eat
None of us were very hungry so we had some crusty bread and a stuffed pepper each and though I say so myself they were very tasty.

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