We found a pile of multi-colored bell peppers on sale and picked up a large bag of them. Some will sacrifice themselves into a paste of muhammara (a Middle Eastern roasted pepper/walnut dip). The rest became stuffed peppers this evening. I decided not to use either rice or cheese to hold things together and used a decades old recipe I cobbled together - which reminded me why I actually stuck my name on it
Jeff’s Stuffed Peppers - Riceless
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (can optionally use pine nuts or corn kernels)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5-6 bell peppers, any color (medium-large size)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lbs lean ground beef (optionally lamb or ground turkey)
1 tsp baking soda
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 ½ tsp tsp ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained (or diced fresh tomato)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Instructions Servings: 6
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the meat well with baking soda and a teaspoon of salt and set aside in covered bowl (to make it keep moist).
Meanwhile, slice the tops off the peppers and then remove stems, ribs and seeds. Fill a baking dish large enough to fit peppers with about 1/2-inch of water or chicken stock.
Trim the stems on the tops to level with the flesh. Place peppers upside down on top of their lids in water or chicken stock. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over-medium high heat. Add onion and sauté with spices 3 - 4 minutes. Move onions to one far side of the skillet. Add beef in chunks, season with salt and pepper then let sear until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes.
Break up beef and toss with onions and continue to cook 2 minutes, add garlic, walnuts and cook until beef is cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, drain off excess fat.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce oven temperature to 350. Turn peppers upright and place beck into the water (or stock), sprinkle inside peppers lightly with salt and fill with beef filling. Spoon some tomato sauce over the stuffed pepper and cover with lid. Cover with foil and continue to bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, uncover the baking dish, return to oven and bake uncovered until peppers have reached desired tenderness, about 10 - 20 minutes longer. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired to garnish, and serve warm.