Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers-An American classic

Food culture fascinates me and this is where my connection to everything food begins.

I have often wondered if Americans really have a cuisine that they can call their own.  A cuisine that rivals and matches the bragging rights of other world cuisines.  My response?  Yes, we do, devoid of canned Spam, McDonald's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the other voluminous food chains with a drive thru.  Americans do indeed have a diverse food cuisine.  Our Native American ingredients included tomatoes, corn, yams, sweet potatoes and a variety of beans. These ingredients were unknown in Europe and Africa (Yes folks, spaghetti sauce is a relatively new food dish making it's appearance in Italian cookbooks around 1790).  Early European, Spanish and African influences and modern day immigration to the United States provided a wealth of available ingredients, flavors and cuisines that over the generations have fused together and become American.

Stuffing vegetables is a traditional practice around the world. Stuffing vegetables in American cuisine usually involves the bell pepper.

Here is my personal recipe for American style stuffed peppers.


American Style Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
1lb. good quality chorizo sausage, crumbled (squeezed out of the casing)
1 large onion, chopped finely
3 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
4 large bell peppers, tops cut away, bottoms trimmed slightly to stand up flat, and seeds removed (note: I use the peppers from the bottom trim to add to the mixture.)
15.5 oz black beans, drained
1 cup long grained rice
8 oz. good crumbling cheese such as feta, or Mexican crumbling cheese
Salt and pepper
Water
Note: Salsa or a rich flavored tomato sauce is a good choice for topping the peppers while baking.


Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

2.  In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add crumbled sausage, onion, chopped leftover bell pepper, and garlic.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Note: Continue to break up the sausage while cooking with a spoon.

3.  Add rice and saute for 3-5 minutes.  

4.  Add water (approximately 1 cup), black beans and parsley.


5.  Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Note: This is a good time to adjust seasonings to taste

6.  Pour just enough water to cover the bottom of the baking dish about 1/8-inch.

7.  Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture, place on the cut off tops, and place in the baking dish.

8.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil ( to allow the peppers to steam).  Bake peppers until the peppers are tender, and the filling is heated through approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Enjoy!







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54 comments:

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

You really caught my attention with the beans! I love stuffed peppers and haven't had them in a while, have to correct that:@)

Pam said...

I've never thought to use chorizo! That's perfect!

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

I love this tasty filling a lot but it is nearly the same as I would do. It is a lot Belgian too!!

Terrific food! :)

Lea Ann said...

I love your recipe Velva. I've never been a fan of stuffed bell peppers. Too tomatoey...in a bitter green bell pepper. love the sweeter peppers you've used here and the mixture of chorizo et al...yum.

Rita said...

What lovely photos and a great recipe; love the idea of adding feta;and I much prefer your version to others I have een; so I have to keep one; thanks.
Rita

Big Dude said...

Looks like a winner recipe and if they're half as good as they look, they must be delicious

TKW said...

How did you know I had stuffed peppers for lunch yesterday? You must be psychic.

I LOVE them!

Lynda said...

Oh these look different and delicious, especially with the chorizo and black beans.I love stuffed peppers and can't wait to them your way!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Velva, these are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. as well as having some of my favorite ingredients! I love chorizo and black beans! Nice take on the stuffed bell pepper!!

Marguerite said...

Love these peppers and all of the ingredients and I can't wait to try them! Your photos and presentation are beautiful!

tasteofbeirut said...

Great recipe! I have always been itching to get away from the usual meat and rice mixture without coming up with a definite plan on how; love the addition of black beans here, an assertive taste that can withstand the peppers.

mangiabella said...

the stuffing looks so beautiful!!! I love stuffed bell peppers even though my husband won't eat it, I haven't made them for myself for a while....you have inspired me to do so...with this recipe of course!

rosaria said...

Oh yes, yours are rich and tasty. A wonderful variation.

SOUTHERN TOUCH CATERING, INC. said...

Wow, do these sound good! I know I'll be trying this one. I love everything in them!
Thanks for the "history" lesson too. LOL!

Pushpa said...

The stuffed peppers look fabulous.Very colorful and delicious.

nanny said...

I have grown to love stuffed peppers and these look wonderful!

That Girl said...

I like my stuffed peppers with marinara, does that make me unamerican?

ann@Apples and Twinkies said...

I love stuffed peppers. I had them a lot growing up but i don't think I've ever made them for my family. I'll have to fix that!

~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch said...

I have been wanting to try an updated recipe for stuffed peppers for awhile now. The only one I have is from a church cookbook that utilizes tomato soup. Love the idea of feta and chorizo.

ValleyWriter said...

This looks like a great take on stuffed peppers! I especially love that you used orange & red peppers instead of the usual green.

Jennifurla said...

I have never seen them look love lovely.

Raina said...

I love stuffed peppers! Yours look great, love the long grain rice and beans...yum:)

We Are Not Martha said...

I agree! I LOVE stuffed peppers, especially with lots of feta on top :) Yours are so beautiful!!

Sues

RamblingTart said...

OK Velva, you are the first person to create a stuffing for bell peppers that makes me actually WANT to eat them. :-) This is fantastic!! :-)

My Little Space said...

Velva, I didn't even realized that the American doesn't has it's own cuisine. But I bet your stuffed pepper will make it to the best American cuisine. Happy weekend, dear.
Blessings, Kristy

Design Wine and Dine said...

I don't make stuffed peppers nearly as much as I should - your recipe here looks perfect!

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Velva, way to go in dressing up a classic recipe! I love the tex-mex touch you added and will have to bookmark this one! Hope you have a wonderful weekend :o)

teresa said...

stuffed peppers are one of my favorites, these are just gorgeous!

Michael Toa said...

I love stuffed peppers. These looks superb. Love all the flavours for the stuffing.

Fimère said...

une excellente recette il y a tout ce que j'aime dans cette farce et l'ajout de la fêta ça doit être délicieux mes compliments
bonne soirée

Angie's Recipes said...

I always love stuffed peppers! Those seem just exactly for me!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Indeed! As Amercans, we need to embrace our food culture, and not just assume it consists of burgers and fries. I could eat this filling on its own, but it also looks so appealing in a variety of different colored peppers.

Joanne said...

I love how you can stuff a bell pepper with just about any palette of flavors and it will come out deliciously! This mexican flavor combo sounds absolutely wonderful!

Chris said...

OH SHUT UP! (nicely said)

I went to bed last night thinking of stuffing the mini-sweet peppers I have with a rice, chorizo, cheese mixture. That was literally what I was thinking through as I fell asleep.

And now it would be unoriginal. Thanks a lot (ha ha) j/k, I'll still be making them, yours look delicious.

Emma said...

Love the filling for your stuffed peppers, they look and sound really tasty :):)

Cooking Gallery said...

I love stuffed bell peppers and I think it's such a wonderful idea to add rice to the stuffing! We also have something similar in Germany but the pepper is normally stuffed with ground meat.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

How beautiful in the yellow and orange bell peppers and I love your southwest take on these! I've had a hard time getting my husband to eat stuffed peppers but I know he would love yours with the chorizo and black beans. Great recipe!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Isn't everything betta with feta. Boy these look mouth watering. I love every single ingredient in these peppers.

Hungry Dog said...

These look great and quite a bit more colorful and healthy than the stuffed peppers of my youth!

Tv Food and Drink said...

I have yet in my life to try a stuffed pepper. I have had thousands of bell peppers - just never stuffed. So I just printed out your recipe. Thanks! - Gary

Elisabeth said...

I love stuffed peppers, and you did an outstanding job of the stuffing...so colorful, and amazingly delicious.
Thanks for sharing:DDD

Susan Fields said...

I've always loved stuffed peppers, and this recipe looks wonderful!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is something I adore! What a lovely and flavorful filling.

Cheers,

Rosa

5 Star Foodie said...

The stuffing with chorizo and black beans sounds so delicious!

Barbara said...

You're right, Velva, they ARE a classic. And I've never made them!! These look really good, I've already copied it. No excuses now! :)

pierre said...

very nice photos !!bravo pierre

Julie said...

Sounds amazing...I love stuffed bells. I love that these still have their "hats" on :)

Jenn from Much to My Delight said...

Hi Velva! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I've been following yours for a while and love your posts:) I warmly remember my mother's stuffed peppers and have never mastered the recreation. Looks like I found my recipe!

Cheers,
Jenn

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

This looks like a fantastic recipe. I love the idea of using traditionally "American" ingredients.

Suhaina said...

wow...looks so yummy. wish i could try some of it now... wonderful presentation. hope u all enjoyed it....

Indie.Tea said...

American cuisine is a hodge-podge of all sorts of influences - therefore its diverse and wonderful.
The stuffed bell peppers look delicious.

Chef E said...

I know most of the south west foods my mom made all came from altered German foods, even a middle eastern candy, but it was all good...I only wish my mom had used peppers this way, rather than in meatloaf LOL I would love yours!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Velva,

I love food history, and you're right, we have so many foods that belong to this country. I've never made a vegetarian stuffed pepper and printed this off to try.

Laura

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Very tasty looking Velva :)

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