SOUTHWEST STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
1 green chile
5 green bell peppers
½ red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup pepper jack cheese
2 ounces Cotija cheese
1 pound ground turkey
1 7-ounce can diced tomatoes (1 can more later)
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup water
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 stalks green onion
1 7-ounce can diced tomatoes
¾ cup water
Serves 5. Takes 55 minutes.
Remove seeds from green chile. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove stem, white innards, and seed from green bell peppers. Dice green chile, red onion, garlic cloves, and green onion. Grate or shred pepper jack cheese and Cotija cheese.
In a large frying pan or skillet, cook the turkey, green chile, red onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir occasionally.
Add 7-ounce can diced tomatoes, chili powder, corn starch, cumin, oregano, cayenne, green onion, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. (No, this does not mean to get angry and cook in the nude. Sauces can splatter.)
Place bell-pepper halves in a microwavable dish. (You’ll need a 3-to-4 quart dish if you want to use just one.) Add 3/4 cup water to dish. Cover and microwave on high for 7 to 8 minutes. (Microwaves vary in strength, so in general it’s best to heat for a short time, check the food and, if necessary, microwave some more.)
Pour any water out of the bell peppers. Fill each bell-pepper half to the top with ground-beef mixture. Put an equal amount of sour cream, 7-ounce can diced tomatoes, and cheese on the bell peppers.
Serve to adoring guests.
1) Bell peppers have recessive genes that prevent them from having capsaicin, the stuff that makes other peppers hot.
2) Red bell peppers are important in Portuguese cuisine.
3) In 1801 my great-great-great-grandfather Napoleon I directed an invasion of Portugal by French and Spanish troops.
4) In 1808, Napoleon I invaded Portugal again. Say what you will about his megalomania and the countless deaths he caused, he did possess an admirable work ethic.
5) Oh, and he invaded Spain as well in 1808, unleashing more bloody, unrestrained guerrilla warfare.
6) Strange to say, most Napoleonic historians fail utterly to mention how six years of conflict in that region affected red-bell-pepper production in Portugal.
7) It seems likely, though, that red-pepper planting and harvesting fell precipitously in previously culinarily happy Portugal.
8) One’s mind recoils at the thought of wary-weary Portuguese reduced to eating beef-and-red pepper sandwiches without red peppers.
9) Bad French emperor, no éclaire.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.