Wednesday, November 10, 2010

St. Pepper's Not Lonely Anymore

HA, a song title cleverly disguised as a food blog title. Beatles 1, me 1.  Aren't I the witty one!

This dinner came out of nowhere tonight, I had taken out chicken yesterday and I was set on that...yesterday.  It's hard pleasing me, I change my mind about what I want to eat more than a pregnant woman and her cravings.  I have always been this way.  My sister in law (who happens to be carrying my newest niece or nephew) and I went out for dinner a few weeks back and we (more so me) must have sat in our booth for over 20 minutes trying to decide WHAT to have!  I think had I been more decisive she would have been ready 5 minutes in.  Our poor waitress must have come back to our table 7 times before we finally order an appetizer just so we could have a few extra minutes.
What can I say?  I love food, I just want to be sure that I am enjoying my meals to the fullest.

So as I am debating what variety of spices are going to lounge out with my chicken today, I spot 6 multi coloured peppers in my in laws fridge.  They are away this week and the peppers were going to go bad if I didn't use them, I was sure of it! YOINK

Now as I have mentioned before, I have strange eating habits. 
Exhibit A - Fruit on the bottom yogurt: I slightly stir the top non flavoured part and eat that until there is less than a millimetre of it left and THEN I stir that with the fruit. YUM!
Exhibit B - I like to eat my Coffee Crisps: in layers. (I am not sure why this is relevant)
Exhibit C - I don`t like tomatoes, but I will eat ketchup, I will eat them in chili, pasta sauce and sometimes even bruchetta.  They will never and I mean NEVER touch a sandwich and if for some reason one gets put on it, I have to scrape all the juices and seeds off before eating it.  Who am I kidding, I usually send it back.
I can go on and on, but really I am trying to paint a picture here - I prefer my veggies raw, in a salad, or with dip, so when I decided to make dinner tonight I was going against everything I believe in. 
Stuffed peppers!
I was also trying to disguise rice - Mr. Betty Martha doesn`t like to eat it.  When I make it as a side dish he gets 1 maybe 2 tablespoons and that`s it.  It`s like telling your child who doesn't like brussel sprouts that he only has to eat 2 to get dessert!  So this dinner was as much about my dislikes as his.  What a compromise!
I would like to tell you now that all 3 of us decided that this too can be set in rotation.  Non of us gagged, complained and even cleaned our plates :)

Rice and Pork Stuffed Peppers

5 medium sized peppers - I prefer a variety of colors but you can use what you have
1 lb ground pork
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 c minute rice - prepared as directed
2 celery stalks
1 can tomato sauce (or homemade if you prefer)
shredded cheese for garnish

Cook rice according to directions and set aside.  Brown the meat and add the garlic, onions and celery to pan to absorb flavors and soften (approx. 5-8 minutes).  While this is happening, cut the tops off your washed peppers, and remove the seeds as well as the membrane inside using a spoon or a knife.  You will want your peps to stand up straight so if necessary cut the bottoms.
Combine rice with meat mixture and stir in the tomato sauce (with a little bit of water - I usually put some into the can to swish around the remaining sauce)
In a shallow baking dish place your peppers cut side up.  Pack in the rice mixture until it reaches the top (if its overflowing a bit its ok, no one is going to judge you)
Place a sheet of aluminum foil over and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Remove the foil, add some shredded cheese and bake another 10-15 minutes so the cheese has had time to melt.

This is a full meal in itself but you could pair this with a starter salad or soup to get the ball rolling.
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