Recipe of the Week

Stuffed Bell Peppers

12 Bell Peppers
3 lbs ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, sausage or combination of any)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or any cooking oil)
2 lrg onions coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
4 stalks celery diced
2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cup dried parsley flakes
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups bread or cracker crumbs
1 cup grated cheese (parmesan, Romano, asiago or combination of any)
salt and pepper to taste

Cut tops from peppers, 1/2 inch from stem,. Clean thoroughly. Parboil or steam 8 prepared peppers for 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Dice remaining 4 peppers and set aside.

Brown ground meat, drain and set aside.

Remove drippings from pot. Add oil. Saute onions, diced peppers and celery over medium heat. When onions are slightly browned, add garlic. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Stir in herbs until combined. Add in browned meat, mixing thoroughly, and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Stir in bread or cracker crumbs. Remove from heat. Mix in eggs, taking care not to scramble them in the process. Add cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture cool.

Preheat oven to 350.

Stuff the prepared peppers. Top each with a sprinkling of bread crumbs or your favorite pasta sauce.

Bake in covered baking dish for 45 minutes. Remove cover. Continue cooking 15 minutes longer.

Serves eight.

NOTE: Stuffed peppers may be frozen before baking. I find a one-gallon freezer bag will hold 4 peppers. Make sure the peppers are completely defrosted before baking.


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