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ERIN SULLEY: How do you take your peppers?


There is nothing like a tasty serving of warm stuffed peppers to bring you comfort.

It delivers all that flavour in a light and healthy meal.

When you break it down and dissect stuffed peppers, it combines fairly basic ingredients.

There’s meat, rice, veggies and cheese.

Aside from a little spice, that’s it!

Instead of making all these ingredients separately and dishing it on a plate, stuffing peppers presents you with the opportunity to blend all the delicious flavours together in one amazing dish.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘what the hell’ attitude.” – Julia Child

Nothing tops pan-seared veggies. They are always a welcomed addition in my kitchen. ERIN SULLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM
Nothing tops pan-seared veggies. They are always a welcomed addition in my kitchen. ERIN SULLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM

Although I listed some ingredients above, you can use whatever you want for the stuffing. I chose ground turkey, basmati rice, onion, carrot, parmesan and cheddar cheese — simply because they were in my kitchen.

This is an easy dish to transform into a vegetarian dish. Simply omit the meat and add extra veggies. This recipe is one that has endless possibilities. That’s the best part of stuffed peppers — use whatever ingredients you want or what you have on hand. Have fun with the stuffing and add all your favourite flavours.

“Real cooking is more about following your heart than following recipes.” - Unknown

The stuffing might not look appetizing at this stage but don’t judge a book by its cover. ERIN SULLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM
The stuffing might not look appetizing at this stage but don’t judge a book by its cover. ERIN SULLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM

You’ll have to forgive me, I make this recipe without measuring the ingredients. You know, a little of this and a little of that. At best, you will have extra stuffing to freeze for next time. At worst, you won’t have enough stuffing for leftovers. That’s the great thing about cooking, you can experiment.

Here’s the breakdown: Preheat your oven to 350. Cook the rice and meat. Cut your veggies into small pieces and fry them with a little olive oil and whatever spice you desire. Once that’s complete, put in all in a bowl with some parmesan cheese and stir it up. I use parmesan because it’s delicious and it also acts as a binder, keeping all your ingredients together.

Cut or shred your peppers in half and take out the seeds. Note: I cut them in half to utilize as much of the pepper as I can. Some people cut the tops off the pepper and stuff the pepper standing upright. I find this only works when you have well shaped peppers that actually stand upright. Because when does that actually happen?

“Homemade with love. In other words, I licked the spoon and kept using it.” - Unknown

A sprinkle of cheese is not just for flavour. It serves an important job of holding the stuffing inside the pepper. ERIN SULLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TELEG
A sprinkle of cheese is not just for flavour. It serves an important job of holding the stuffing inside the pepper. ERIN SULLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TELEG

Take your stuffing and fit as much into the pepper half as you possibly can. You can use a spoon for this part but I prefer my hands – washed hands, of course. Transfer the stuffed peppers onto a baking dish lined with parchment paper. The final stage is topping the peppers with grated cheddar cheese.

Place your stuffed peppers in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. Some recipes say to cover with foil so the peppers don’t dry out. I’ve never encountered that problem.

“My cooking is awesome. Even the smoke alarm cheers me on.” - Unknown

When you’re ready to serve, top them with more cheddar because, well, why not!

Stuffed peppers is a super convenient recipe. You can easily make a load of them at once and have enough for lunch the following day served with a salad. I would say freeze them, but peppers tend to get soggy when you freeze and reheat. Not to say you can’t do it, but it’s not my favourite freeze ahead dish.

Bell peppers are a great vessel for stuffing. Have you tried it? This recipe is a winner. PHOTO BY PAUL PICKETT
Bell peppers are a great vessel for stuffing. Have you tried it? This recipe is a winner. PHOTO BY PAUL PICKETT

If you decide to freeze them, don’t bake them. You don’t have to blanch them either. Remember, all your stuffing contents are cooked. All you have to do is stuff them, top them with cheese, and wrap them up to place in the freezer. When you take them out of the freezer to thaw, that’s when you do the final step of baking.

Hopefully this gave you some inspiration for your personalized stuffed pepper recipe. There’s a ton of similar recipes online, just Google and take a look to see which one tingles your taste buds. This will quickly become a favourite in your recipe box as stuffed peppers are definitely fit to eat.

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email erinmsulley@gmail.com Twitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley

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