Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Mother's Day Gift / Stuffed Peppers

No, I didn't get stuffed peppers for Mother's Day! LOL

I received, among other things, the The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook - Every recipe from 10 years of the hit TV show with product ratings and a look behind the scenes. Not to be sacrilegious but this is my new bible. Before each recipe is a little story of what they were trying to achieve as far as taste, ingredients, authenticity and ease of preparation. There are also notes throughout the book on techniques such as brining, use of fond, how to flambe, and more. And at the end are all their favorite products, both food and utensil, from mustard to bread to cheese to vinegar, from skillets to spatulas to food processors to ice cream makers. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Plus, it has recipes on everything from pastas to steaks to cookies to diner food and everything else in between. But the main reason I love it is because these people have tried everything over and over and are handing me the results so I don't have to do all the guess work myself. That is the gift of time and time is priceless.

So, tonight I made their stuffed peppers recipe, with a few small changes that I will tell you about at the end.

STUFFED PEPPERS from America's Test Kitchen

table salt
4 medium bell peppers, 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
12 oz. ground beef (80/20)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp. parsley leaves, chopped
ground black pepper
1/4 cup ketchup

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. salt and the bell peppers. Cook until just soft, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peppers from the pot, drain off the excess water, and place the peppers cut side up on paper towels. Return the water to a boil; add the rice and boil until tender, about 13 minutes. Drain the rice and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking the beef into small pieces with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to the bowl with the rice; stir in the tomatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir together the ketchup and the reserved tomato juice in a small bowl.

Place the peppers, cut side up, in a 9-inch square baking dish. Using a soup spoon, divide the filling evenly among the peppers. Spoon 2 tbsp. of the ketchup mixture over each filled pepper and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is browned and the filling is heated through, 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

I did not have the diced tomatoes on hand, so I poured an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce into the mix. Also, I had shredded Cheddar instead of Mont.Jack and I omitted the parsley. Also, I used my rice cooker to cook the rice, and I did not make the ketchup sauce, I used a can of Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce (which is basically seasoned tomato sauce) and poured it all over the peppers and around them. We like a lot of sauce and it is terrific over the mashed potatoes I made to go with the peppers. I peeled a 3 pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, cut them into small pieces and simmered them for 20 minutes. Then I mashed them with a stick of butter and 3/4 cup half-n-half and salt to taste. YUM! I probably could have just spread them on my thighs, but they taste SO good.

Happy eating!


  1. the peppers and potatoes do sound delicious!! I never thought of putting cheese into the mixture for stuffed peppers but next time I make them, I'm going to try this recipe! I like too that it is relatively easy

    that cookbook sounds good too; I bet it is fun to read the recipes and the stories behind them :)


  2. ahhh...i love that show! i'll bet those peppers rock!

  3. What a great sounding book! I've never heard of that show before...maybe we didn't get it up here in Canada?

    And thanks for the yummy-sounding recipe! Mmmm!!