Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Delicious stuffed peppers with ground beef and rice, topped with cheese

INGREDIENTS:

6 green bell peppers
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional


PREPARATION:

Directions for stuffed peppers with ground beef and rice; Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Chop edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped green pepper (from tops), chopped onion, and chopped celery for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes. If desired, top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before peppers are done; bake until cheese is melted. Recipe for stuffed peppers serves 6.

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