Beef, Dinner

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

Hubby made a easy classic dish in the crockpot last week – Stuffed Peppers. We generally make them at this time of year when we can harvest the peppers we have grown in our little garden.  This year was not a good pepper year for us. Jalapeno peppers thrived while bell peppers did not take. They blossomed but then nothing. So now is a good time to pick up some peppers at.the farm market and give this recipe a try. This recipe was adapted from I Wash You Dry post.

  • 5 large bell peppers (you can use a mix of red, yellow and orange too)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (ground turkey works well too)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp A1 steak sauce
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cooked brown and wild rice mix (any type of cooked rice will work)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • Cut the tops of the peppers off and discard the seeds and stems, but save the pepper portion of the tops and dice. Reserve 1/2 cup for the filling.
  • Combine the diced peppers, ground beef, onion, steak sauce, tomato sauce and rice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each pepper with the ground beef mixture and place in the crock pot.
  • Pour about 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the crock pot and cover. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Just before serving top with the shredded cheese and cover until melted. Enjoy!

The bottom of the slow cooker will have quite a bit of water after cooking from the peppers releasing their water. Use a slotted spoon to pick up the peppers and let drain before plating.

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Chicken Riggies

Want something locally inspired and hot and spicy?  Hubby wanted to give Chicken Riggies a try on Saturday night and we found a recipe to work with.  Once we put this idea together we invited our Foodie Friends over for a little wine and dinner.  This might be a little late for Valentine’s Day dinner, but why not give this a try this weekend?  Everyday is Valentines;’s Day when you share it with someone you love!

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in bite-sized pieces
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 onion, diced 
2 Cubanelle peppers, seeded and thinly sliced 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 roasted red peppers, drained and chopped 
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (or 2 hot cherry peppers)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, for topping

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add rigatoni pasta and cook until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook in the hot oil until lightly browned on all sides, and no longer pink in the center, about 7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm.
Stir onion, Cubanelle peppers, and garlic into the skillet. Cook and stir until onion softens, about 4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and hot cherry peppers. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cooked chicken and heavy cream; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta.
Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

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One Pot Chili Mac

Hubby asked me to create a one pot meal tab in my Pinterest account so that we can file quick and easy dinners that we want to try.  Generally he is out on the road during the day working he has an opportunity to stop at the grocery store and pick up what we need.  This one was very hearty on a cold night like we have been having lately.  When the temperature is in the single digits or lower, you want something to warm you up and this hits the spot. 

One Pot Chili Mac

Ingredients

1 pound Ground Beef
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Red Onion chopped
1 Poblano Chili seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 14 ounce can Fire-roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 can Kidney or Red Beans
4 cups Beef Broth
10 ounces Macaroni Noodles
2 cups Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese , shredded
2 Tbl Parsley , chopped

Directions

Heat a large pot to medium/high. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces.
Add the olive oil, onion, chili, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cumin to the beef and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until onion and chili have softened.
Add the beans, tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni noodles to the pot. Stir to combine and then cover the pot with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring contents every minute or two, until the noodles are al dente.
Remove from heat and sprinkle the top of the chili mac with the shredded cheese and parsley. Cover until service to allow the cheese to melt.
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Jalapeño Poppers

I saw the Food Network recipe of the week and knew we had to make it.  Basically it was to use up the ton of Jalapeños we had in our little garden. We had 6 plants that went crazy this year. My son and I probably picked over 30 peppers this afternoon leaving a bunch on the bush for another time.  So I used 17 of them tonight and prepared Rachel Ray’s roasted jalapeños and they were delicious.  Having them de-seeded helped with heat factor, but boy do my hands burn now from working with the seeds and membranes.

If you love Jalapenos’, we have plenty.  Stop by!

Jalapeno Poppers



12 large jalapeno peppers
2 ounces feta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces shredded smoked pepper Jack cheese, or other hot pepper cheese, or extra-sharp Cheddar
A small handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated onion


Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    Cut 1/3 of each pepper off lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet. If peppers do not sit flat on the baking sheet, slice a thin piece off the bottom of the pepper so it will not roll around.
    Mash the feta, cream cheese, shredded cheese, cilantro, and onion together and stuff the peppers with the mixture. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is brown at the edges and bubbly.

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Stuffed Peppers

 
 

 
Pulled this one off!  Wow, we planned on making this for dinner last night and then once I saw the recipe and realized that it was projected to take about 2 hours to complete it, the plan then changed to prepping it and then back it tonight.  But by the time I got to that stage, I said – let’s go ahead and bake them.  Glad I did.  This was very, very good. 
 
The thing with Stuffed Peppers and our family is that our favorite restaurant in town is Canale’s and they have stuffed peppers on their menu that my husband loves.  He refers to them as ” Brains”.  I guess because of their size or how they look, but he loves to order them.  Well, with our garden in full mode, we had enough peppers to make them at home.  Found a recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a bit and here they are.  He will still order them out, but now we have a classic stuffed pepper recipe during garden harvest time.
 
If you are looking for a quicker version – give then link below a try for another classic stuffed peppers made with sausage, but cooked in the microwave.
 
 
 

Classic Stuffed Peppers

 
4 to 6 green peppers, or use a combination of green and red bell peppers or other colors
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon ​​extra virgin 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 teaspoon minced garlic
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 (at least 85%)
1  cup long-grain rice, cooked
Shredded Mozzarella, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional
 
 

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and rinse them under cold water; remove seeds and cut away the membranes, which might be bitter. Chop the edible part of tops and set aside.  Place peppers in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot and the butter is foamy.

Sauté the chopped bell pepper (from the tops), chopped onion, and chopped celery for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add the (un-drained) canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture. Mix well.

Heat the oven to 350° F.

Stuff the peppers loosely with the meat mixture and place in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Pour the remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers.

Bake the peppers for about 45 minutes, or until the meat mixture is thoroughly cooked. To check the internal temperature, use an instant-read thermometer. The temperature should be at least 160° F for ground beef, pork or lamb, or 165° F for ground turkey or chicken.

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Veal and Pepper Casserole

 
It is very hard these days to find a good Italian restaurant that is not a chain.  One where they have home cooked meals from scratch and specials that vary from day to day.  We have one that is not too far from our house that we frequent quite often.  Our daughter works there as a hostess and bus girl when she is home from college.  This restaurant is originally from the college town where Hubby and I went to school and a family favorite for years. They have since opened a smaller store front spot near our house and it continues to please diners on a regular basis.
 
But long before our local spot showed up there was another family restaurant in the city, Enrico’s,  that was a popular spot to dine. I remember vaguely going there a couple of times when I was much younger with my parents.  My husband has stronger memories since Enrico’s was close to where he grew up.   It has since closed and the building is gone but the memories of the dishes that come out of that kitchen live on.  Hubby found their Veal Casserole Recipe on a nostalgia page while surfing my Facebook page and we decided to give it a try.
 
 

 

Veal and Pepper Casserole

Ingredients

 
1 pound veal stew meat (or veal scallops) cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or chopper
1 green pepper, cut up
8 oz. of mushrooms
2 tablespoons Sherry Wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 table spoon grated Parmesan cheese 
 
Topping:
Mozzarella Cheese and fresh parsley
 

Directions

Heat oil in a skillet or pan.  Add garlic and cook to a golden color (no more than golden).  Add meat and brown over medium heat.  When meat is browned, add Sherry, mushrooms and peppers, mixing well.  Add Chicken Stock and grated Parmesan cheese; mix and stir 2 minutes more. 
 
When meat is cooked, place in a casserole dish.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and broil until cheese melts, no more.  Top with parsley and serve.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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An abundent harvest- Quick and easy stuffed peppers

This one is so easy and quick.  Peppers stuffed with sausage and rice and then mirowaved and on the table in 40 minutes.    I found this recipe years ago when our local Wegmans would do little cards featuring a couple of recipes.  Now it is a quarterly magazine featuring a variety of items found and sampled when you visit the store.  Thank god I kept this recipe card because I cannot find this recipe anywhere on their website.

Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4- 5 
3 Large bell peppers, any color halved lengthwise and seeded
1 lb Poultry Italian sausage, casing removed
1 cup of rice (instant)
1 jar (26 oz.) Italian Sausage Sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 egg
2 Tblsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated cheese
Mix sausage with rice, 1 cup sauce, onion, egg and oregano.
Stuff peppers with sausage mixture.  Place peppers, skin side down in a microwave dish. Pour remaining sauce over peppers.  Microwave, covered on High for 20 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle peppers with cheese, recover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. 
  (Note – I just cut the tops off the peppers and stood them up in the dish.)