I haven't been much use in the kitchen lately. My wonderful husband has been doing most of the cooking since we arrived in Hungary. Mostly because he is better at it than me. And partly because starting school was a bit hectic for me. But tonight I decided to get off my lazy bum and cook a decent meal. A little perusing on the internet gave me the idea of stuffed bell peppers. Yum! The recipe online called for too many ingredients, so I toned it down to create something that seemed good to me and headed to Match, the corner grocery store three minutes walk from our door. (Gotta love living in the city!) This is what I ended up creating...
Now these peppers probably look a little different than what you expect. I had to cut them long-ways because Hungarian peppers look like this:
Instead of this:
But it worked and created a great meal. Here's how I did it...
Ingredients (Measurements are estimated, as I kind of just did it as I went along.)
4 bell peppers
1/3 cup rice
5 strips bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 or 3 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 lb ground beef (or ground pork if you live in Hungary)
1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated cheese (parmesan or cheddar are my preferences)
various spices (ground chilies, chili powder, pepper, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius or 375 Fahrenheit.
2. Cook rice (can be a little moist) and set aside.
3. Cook bacon. Let cool and break up into bacon bits. Set aside.
4. Cut bell peppers in half. Set aside.
5. Sautee garlic and onions (only 2 minutes or so). Then add ground meat to skillet and cook completely.
6. Add marinara sauce and various spices to the meat. (I like things a little more on the spicy side, so I add a lot of chili powder and paste and black pepper for flavor.)
7. Add rice and half the bacon bits to the meat mixture. Let mixture simmer until well mixed and flavorful (about 3 to 5 minutes).
8. When meat mixture is ready, add mixture to bell peppers, filling them to the top.
9. Sprinkle cheese and bacon bits on the top of each pepper.
10. Bake on cookie sheet or in casserole dish for 30 minutes at 200 C or 375 F.
(Tip: Grease the bottom of the cookware with a bit of olive oil and your peppers won't stick.)
11. Serve hot.
Makes a large helping for 2 or a small helping for 3. (We had left overs for my lunch tomorrow.)