Bell peppers are starting to ripen and roll in to the Farmer’s Market, vegetable/fruit stands and local grocery stores. Yaaay! I’ve been experimenting with some recipes that call for a stuffing without meat but don’t sacrifice flavor – perfect for “Meatless Mondays” (more about that in an upcoming post.) Here’s one version I adore with various mushrooms, wild rice and some sort of pepper-flavored cheese. I used Habañero cheddar for this batch, but pepperjack will work just as well. I’m also perfecting a recipe with stuffed red bell peppers with black beans, sweet corn and cheese and will blog about that soon (click on this link for the recipe: http://wp.me/p1m2u9-12r)
- 4 bell peppers (I used green and red for this batch)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas and cremini mushrooms, but feel free to choose your own favorites)
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine
- 1 cup Habañero cheese, diced small, plus 4-6 slices to top peppers
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes in sauce
- Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash the peppers, parboil them for 5 minutes and then plunge them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Set them aside to stuff later.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and salt to taste and for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the sherry and let the wine and water from mushrooms cook off completely, about 5 more minutes or so. Remove from heat.
Combine the mushrooms, wild rice, diced cheese and tomatoes in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove the membranes and seeds. Stuff them with the mushroom, rice and cheese mixture and place in a square baking dish with about 1/2 an inch of water on the bottom.
Bake for 25 minutes. Top each pepper with a slice of the cheese and continue baking until the cheese starts to melt.
Remove the peppers from the oven and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with a salad or side dish of your choice.
These are so yummy – between the spicy cheese and the earthiness of the mushrooms you won’t even miss any meat!
Eat, drink and be merry!
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