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A few months ago, one of my daughters sent me a recipe she found in the Martha Stewart publication Everyday Food.  She said it was great and gave me her variation on the recipe. I tried it a few weeks later and made a few changes of my own, like using ground beef instead of the shredded chicken that my daughter used. The original recipe had no meat at all.  A month later, my other daughter decided to try it and made a few more changes. 

Recipe sharing is a bit like playing “Telephone”. Each person makes minor changes due to ingredient availability or personal preference and, it the recipe travels through the kitchen grapevine long enough, it eventually bears little resemblance to the original.

(Photo – Everyday Food)

Here is the recipe as printed in the magazine:

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree
  • 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat), minced
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (2 whole, 1 minced)
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise (stems left intact), ribs and seeds removed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. In a blender, combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeno, half the onions, and 2 whole garlic cloves; puree. Season with salt. Pour sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, cumin, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle poblanos with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake until poblanos are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes.

———————–

The first altered version added some shredded cooked chicken to the cheese and black bean filling. Not being a great fan of black beans, Daughter #1 used only half as many as called for. She also only used 1 onion and 1 garlic clove in the sauce but she used 2 cups of cheese instead of 1 cup. My version was to use ground chuck, browned first with one of the onions, then mixed with the beans and cheese. I didn’t use the cornmeal at all.

Daughter #2 made a number of changes. For the sauce, she merely opened 3 cans – one of Rotel tomatoes, one of red enchilada sauce, and one of tomato sauce. She used a combo of ground chuck and chorizo, adding a lot to the spiciness of the dish. She wasn’t sure what kind of peppers she used, probably banana peppers – they were light green longish peppers. 

Brilliantly inspired, Daughter #2 made a garnish, using black beans, chopped red pepper, purple onion, and cilantro. This sprinkled on top of the cooked poblano’s not only made them beautiful, but added the finishing taste touch, along with a dollop of sour cream.

When I want a more hearty version of the originals, all three of them, I will use Daughter #2 version, presented below in her words. 

 

#2’s Stuffed Poblano’s

For the sauce:

1 can rotel tomatoes

1 can red enchilada sauce

1 can tomato sauce (14 oz, not 28 oz)

 

For the stuffing:

3/4 lb chorizo

1/2 lb gr chuck

approximately 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar

1 med. onion chopped smallish

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

 

peppers

about 8-10 large/long light green peppers, stem and top cut off and ribs and seeds removed.

 

0. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. Saute ground chuck and chorizo until done; pour off grease.

2. While meat is cooking, mix up sauce and pour into a 8 1/2 x 11 pan. Also chop up ingredients for stuffing.

3. Mix meat in with the rest of the stuffing ingredients.

4. Stuff peppers — really stuff it in there, use a fork to push it down.

5. Lay peppers in pan; if there is any remaining stuffing mixture, just sprinkle over the peppers. Ladle sauce over the top of the peppers and top with remaining grated cheese, about 1/2 cup.

6. Cover with foil and bake 45 min at 425.

7. Uncover and bake another 10-15 min until cheese is browned and sauce slightly thickened.

 

(For the garnish: mix in any amounts desired- black beans (rinsed and drained), chopped red bell pepper, purple onion, and cilantro leaves. Serve with sour cream.)

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There seems to be a lot of interest in stuffed green peppers. My previous post (“A Favorite Dish”) about stuffed peppers is by far the most visited. Since I never provided the recipe, I will do so now in case people were searching for a complete list of ingredients and procedures instead of just my guidelines.

My only changes to the original recipe are using hot sauce and the corn. I think the addition of corn makes the dish especially good. I also use a little more tomato than called fork, a 14 ounce can instead or a 7 1/2 oz. can. I like more tomato flavor. You might like to give it and the corn a try.

MORGANA’S STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS
Based on a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Serves 4

2 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise
3/4 lb. ground beef, pork, sausage or combination
1/2 c. chopped onion
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 c. long grain rice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. canned or frozen or fresh corn
1/2 t. dried basil or oregano, crushed

garlic, optional
hot sauce, to taste, optional
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar or Colby or Co-Jack or ANY cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 c. water

1. Put large pot of water on heat to boil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove stem end from peppers. Cut out ribs and rinse out seeds. When water boils, put peppers into the pot of boiling water for 3 minutes only. Remove, salt the insides of the peppers. Let drain on towels, cut side down.

2. In a skillet, cook the meat with the onion until the meat is browned. Drain off as much fat as you can. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the uncooked rice, the corn, the Worcestershire sauce and whatever seasonings you desire, 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper, and the 1/2 c. water.

3. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until the rice is tender, adding more liquid as necessary. When rice is done and the mixture is fairly dry but still moist, add half of the cheese and stir to blend.

4. Fill the peppers with the stuffing and put in a casserole. (An 8 X 8 dish works if the peppers aren’t too large.)
Arrange any leftover meat and rice around the peppers.

5. Bake about 15 minutes or till heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and let stand until cheese melts before serving.

Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Morgana

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Sstuffed Peppers

Photo credit

Tonight we are having stuffed green peppers, one of my favorite dinners. I’ll probably make a little garlic bread since I have a baguette on hand to make bread pudding. I purchased a marinated vegetable salad at the grocery. It’s something new in their deli and I though I’d give it a try.

My recipe for the stuffed peppers is just a generic one, nothing special, no exotic ingredients. I stuff the pepper halves with ground beef, cooked with chopped onion and a little bit of chopped green pepper trimmed from the tops of the peppers when I halve them. I add a can of diced tomatoes, some rice, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, a little water, and some shredded cheddar. Sometimes, I add a cup of so of corn mixed into the meat and rice. I think my recipe is from an old Better Homes and Gardens, or an old Betty Crocker cookbook.

When I think of summer meals, I always think of stuffed green peppers. We like them in the middle of summer, with fresh tomato slices, and corn on the cob. I’ll have to wait a few months for that, I guess.

I have been trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our meals, as I mentioned in a post last week. Can I say we are noticeably healthier or happier or prettier or peppier? Not yet. I suspect it’s one of those lifestyle things that is apparent when you have committed yourself to a dietary alteration for a period of years, not weeks. Oh well. I’ll keep at it.

Morgana

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