STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
1 cup brown rice
6 bell peppers (any color)
2 cups water (diet water is okay)
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon Prudhomme’s Poultry MagicTM pice
1/2 teaspoons Prudhomme’s Vegetable MagicTM spice
0 teaspoons salt (too much salt is bad for you. Boo, salt, boo)
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoons paprika
pig sweat (not really)
1 sweetheart to help you find all the ingredients. Some of the fixings will be lurking behind jugs of milk in the refrigerator
The most important thing in this recipe is having the ingredients. But you do have flexibility. For example, if you don’t have Prudhomme’s Poultry MagicTM spice, use poultry seasoning, coriander, or dill.
The first step is to cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Fill a pot with water and put a steaming rack over the pot. Put the peppers on the rack. Boil the water in the pot for ten minutes. (Enough time for a three-mile-run if you’re really fast.) All this is done to soften the peppers.
You really ought to know how to cook rice, especially for this recipe. Theoretically, having a rice cooker ought to be idiot-proof. Ha, not for this idiot.
I had never used this rice cooker before. I measured a cup of rice and poured it in. I measured another cup of water and poured it in. There didn’t seem to be as much water as I had thought there would be. I poured another cup. Same result.
The water pooling onto the counter told me something was amiss. “Honey,” I said, “water’s coming out the rice maker.”
She strode into the kitchen, cleaned up the water, looked at the cooker, and at me. “You didn’t put the black plastic pot into the cooker. You probably ruined it.”
“I didn’t know there was a plastic pot,” I said in my defense. My synapses were really firing.
After much spirited debate, I unscrewed the bottom of the cooker and extracted the remaining 223,192 kernels. My wife took the cooker to the bathroom and dried the contraption with a hair dryer. We put it back together, this time with the plastic pot.
Oh, I combined the stupid rice with the turkey meat and all those spices. Mixed them thoroughly with my hands. Don’t shake hands with people while doing this.
Carefully scoop the rice/meat mass into the peppers. Pour some olive oil on top of the peppers and coat the seeds with the oil. Yes, olive oil is oily. If your fingers got coated, you’ll have to wash your hands again. Sprinkle a good amount of paprika on top of the peppers and meat to obtain a nice browning.
Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish and cook for 35-50 minutes at 350 degrees until the meat is completely cooked. Please do not let anyone fiddle with the timer during the baking. If so, you’ll have to take the peppers out of the oven more than once and poke at the meat to see if it’s done. DO NOT do this without a pot holder.
Any excess rice/meat mass can be combined with ranch beans to make a tasty side dish.
Well, there you have it. These bell peppers made a scrumptious main course. My family loved it. I don’t know if I’ll make it again, though. I’m powerful afraid of that rice cooker.
1) Asians eat close to forty times as much rice per year as the average American.
2) Although you can puff rice, it does not “pop” as well as popcorn.
3) Rice is a symbol of fertility. That’s why people used to throw handfuls at weddings. The practice stopped when lawyers and insurers stepped in. One might also imagine couples wishing to remain childless objecting.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
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.