Cooking On A Budget: Stuffing Peppers For Freezing - Garden Fresh Stuffed Peppers

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stuffing Peppers For Freezing - Garden Fresh Stuffed Peppers

Yum


Yum As summer is ending the last of our garden vegetables are being harvested: bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Over this past weekend I set about to make stuffed peppers to cook and then place in containers to freeze for the long winter and cold weather that lies ahead. I ended up making almost double this recipe mixture as I had lots of peppers to use up. And there is still a large zip lock bag of them I may end up roasting and canning or make more stuffed peppers.
What I did for this recipe was to follow the original recipe and make one minor change. That was to add in some fresh marjoram as I do for my Italian Meatball recipe.

I found these nifty containers at the dollar store - three to a package to use.




You will need to have your favorite red sauce ready for the topping to the peppers. We made some sauce from our canned tomato sauce from last years garden. Also the peppers used were straight from our garden. The plants did really well and we had some nice large peppers to use.
One of the nice things about this recipe is that stuffed peppers freeze well. When we got hit last season by a tropical storm or hurricane and lost power, having stuffed peppers in the freezer was a God send.
Our recipe used 6 large green peppers which we split in half length-wise yielding 12 nice portions. We served ours with mashed potatoes.
  • 1 medium sweet onion - finely chopped (save 1/4 cup for the rice mixture)
  • 1/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 6 large green bell peppers - split in half length-wise
  • 1 3/4 lb. ground chuck beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 cup red sauce (plus extra for when the peppers are baking)
  •  2/3 cup + 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

 Start by making the rice:
  1. To a sauce pot melt 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. oil.
  2. Add in the 1/4 cup of onion and begin to sweat them over medium heat for about 1 minute.
  3. Next add in the rice and stir to coat.
  4. Add in the water, turn the heat to high until bubbles form along the edge. Then immediately turn it own to a simmer. Cover the rice and cook about 18-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Allow the rice to cool down. If you need to cool it down faster, remove it from the pot and lay it on a baking sheet and spread it out.

The filling for the peppers:
  1. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients from the beef and pork down to the salt and pepper.
  2. I used food handling gloves and mixed until just incorporated. Do not over work the mixture.
  3. Fill each pepper to the top and disperse any extra mixture equally. Then pour over the sauce on top of each and some in this baking dish itself.
  4. If you do not have enough red sauce, add some water to the bottom of the dish to help create steam while cooking.
Preheat the oven to 350° and cook covered for about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of your peppers.

NOTE: If you are making these to freeze you can choose to cook them all the way and when you thaw them they can be reheated in the microwave on the stove top with some sauce, in a toaster or conventional oven. If using the metal containers to freeze, be sure to remove the peppers to a microwaveable dish.

ALTERNATE COOKING METHOD: Follow all of the directions above but place the peppers in the slow cooker. Set the heat on low and simmer for about 6-8 hours or on high for about 5-6 hours until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the peppers are tender.


Please note: all photographs are the sole property of Patricia Anderson, a.k.a. Cooking On A Budget. Any use of these photographs must be obtained from the owner in writing.



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