Steamed Stuffed Bell Peppers is one of my own recipes. There are many stuffed bell pepper recipes in American cuisine, of course. Usually the peppers are baked. I find, however, that steamed stuffed bell peppers produces a texture in the bell peppers’ meat that is more desirable – still a little firm and chewy, and sweeter than when baked.
Steamed Stuffed Bell Peppers makes for a whole, balanced meal, as you will see in the ingredients. Still, they can just as well be served as one course in a multi-course meal. They go great with chicken dishes, fried rice, salads and soups or stews as well.
I prefer using red bell peppers, as they are, to me, the most colorful and attractive in the presentation. They are also the sweetest of the sweet bell peppers.
You can use green, yellow, or orange bell peppers also. Just keep in mind that the amount of sweetness in a bell pepper graduates upward in order of its color: Green is the least sweet, and the level of sugars in the pepper’s flesh increases in order through yellow, then orange, and then red. So choose your peppers accordingly.
NOTE: When selecting the peppers you want to cook, inspect the bottoms. You want peppers that have level bottoms, with the nodes in proportion to each other so that the pepper will stand upright and not tilt over during the steaming. You can use peppers that are just a little uneven on the bottoms, but if so, carefully slice away the longer node bottom to make it level with the others. Do not cut through the flesh enough to create a hole into the interior cavity, though.
Steamed Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe-
(Makes 2 Servings)
- 2 large red bell peppers (or color of your choice)
- 6 oz. lean ground beef (you can also use ground pork, veal, or even ground wild game, like venison)
- 1 very small potato (about 2 oz., chop off a chunk from a large potato if need be), par-boiled until just starting to be a little soft, then finely diced
- 2 oz. fresh mushrooms of your choice, diced
- 1 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 very small tomato (use a Roma tomato, or a regular tomato about that size), cored and diced fine
- 2 tbsp. peanut oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- herbs of your choice, to taste (I like to use oregano, thyme and basil, for an Italian flair)
You will need: A Steaming Pot
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat; sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms and potato until the garlic and onions are fragrant and the potato dices are fully softened.
- Add and stir the ground meat into the skillet, breaking it up into small bits as you go. Sauté, stirring and breaking up the meat even further with a wooden cooking spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through.
- Turn the heat down to low, then add and stir in the diced tomato. Season the mixture to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Allow this filling mixture to simmer for a few minutes to allow all the flavors to meld together. Then remove from the burner and set aside to cool enough to handle while you perform the next steps.
- Cut the tops off of the bell peppers with a sharp paring knife. Cut in at a slight angle, circling around the pepper, so that the top will reinsert as a “cap” that fits well and tight during the steaming.
- Pull the tops out, and chop off the bulk of seeds attached to the underneath. Be careful to cut in such a way that you only remove the seeds – do not puncture a hole in the “cap” you are going to reserve and need. Then carefully scrape out the remaining seeds in the cavity and carve out as much of the white ribs, which are not flavorful and just take up space where you want to put filling.
- Place the filling mixture in a mixing bowl; add and stir in the grated cheese and beaten egg. Mix together well.
- Spoon the filling into the pepper cavities, pressing down firmly to ensure they are evenly and tightly packed full. Leave just enough room at the top so the caps can be placed back without any filling oozing out.
- Put the caps back in place, making sure they are properly aligned, and press down to achieve a tight fit.
- Steam for 12 to 15 minutes. Start checking after about 10 minutes, to see if they are already done. Press a toothpick or the point of a sharp knife into the pepper’s flesh. If it penetrates with little resistance, it is done. You can cook them longer, if you like very soft, almost mushy texture to your peppers. I prefer them to be soft, but still a little chewy.
- That’s it, you are done! Serve your Steamed Stuffed Bell Peppers right away, while still nice and hot.
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