08 September, 2013

Culinary Creation

I found this recipe for Cheesesteak Stuffed Bell Peppers on Pinterest, and immediately wanted to try it.  Though I don't think bell peppers have any place in civilized cheesesteaks, I love stuffed peppers and thought it sounded delicious.
For me though, something about this recipe was lacking.  The stuffed pepper recipe I have in my memory, courtesy of the mom of my college boyfriend Ryan, was pretty much just rice and ground beef and tomatoes.  I can't imagine a stuffed pepper without rice.  It just seems wrong.  So I made up my own hybrid recipe.  It was so good I thought I should write it down before I forget about it!
Cheesesteak-Stuffed Peppers
4 bell peppers*
1 small box Steak-Umms (6 steaks)**
1/2 yellow onion, diced
8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 bag of boil-in-bag brown rice
1 small can of diced tomatoes
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers, scooping out the seeds and ribs from inside.  Dice the onion and slice the mushrooms.
2. Bring about 6" of salted water in a stock pot to a boil.  Submerge the peppers in boiling water for 2 minutes each. Use the same pot of water to cook the rice according to package directions. 
3. Brown the "steaks" according to package directions, draining the steaks on paper towels as they come out of the pan.  Either shred the meat as it cooks, or chop it after removed from heat.  Use leftover pan drippings to brown the onions and mushrooms, cooking until soft and lightly caramelized.  Drain onions and mushrooms well.
4. Open the canned tomatoes, pouring the liquid from the can into the bottom of the baking dish.
5. Combine rice, tomatoes, steak, onions/mushrooms, and half the cheese in a bowl. This is the time to check your salt level and add more if needed.
6. Place the peppers, cut-side up (duh!) in your baking dish, stuff with filling mixture, top with remaining cheese.
7. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until cheese on top is browned and beautiful.
* I definitely had enough stuffing for one more pepper, but just cooked the leftovers in a small single-serve dish.  If you have someone in your family who is pepper-averse, I recommend the same.
** My cousin Alicia balked at the idea of eating Steak-Umms.  You can absolutely substitute thinly-sliced steak, ground beef, slices of roast beef, ground turkey, those vegetarian crumble things... whatever makes you happy!

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