I cannot believe it is August! Such a great month for produce here in NC. This is the month where tomatoes, peppers and eggplant really pick up along with juicy melons and soon we will even have raspberries. One of our favorite meals this time of year is this Stuffed Pepper recipe. This meal is simple, hearty and really wonderful with an ice cold beer. These stuffed peppers include pretty much everything we get in our CSA box this time of year and is a great way for me to finish off our veggies the day before the new box comes. And for all of you working cooks out there, the filling for these peppers could easily be made ahead of time or you could go as far as stuffing the peppers over the weekend so all you would have to do is throw these babies into the oven to warm them up and brown them off. These adorable little guys make an awesome meal to serve guests and are much less work than they appear to be. Delicious meal in no time! I’m also including what I’ve started to call my Disappearing Salsa recipe because every time I make this stuff it is gone before I’ve had the chance to photograph it. These photographs are of the last 1/2 cup of the salsa after we had devoured the night before and immediately after photographing it, Hayston and I finished it off. Apparently, we and our friends cannot get enough chips and salsa! So if you are a salsa lover too, this really simple salsa recipe will change the way you view that stuff you buy at the store. Your friends will be utterly wowwed by the idea that you made such amazing salsa yourself and it really takes no time at all, you basically just throw a bunch of stuff in a food processor. I would serve this yummy salsa with anything, but of course it goes really well with this smoky, crisp and delicious stuffed pepper recipe. So here are some delicious ways to use up sll of that wonderful August produce….
Stuffed Bell Peppers
6 medium to large bell peppers (any color bell pepper would work here)
2 ears of cooked corn, kernels removed
2-3 medium squash (any mixture of summer squashes would work here, zucchini, mediterranean, zephyr, yellow etc.)
2-3 medium fresh tomatoes diced
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 jalepeno finely diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion diced
1 TBSP cumin
1 tsp coriander
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
**optional to add shredded chicken, ground beef, spicy sausage or pork to this dish, but if you do this you may have to taste the filling and adjust the spices accordingly**
1. Heat olive oil over med high heat and saute diced onion and jalepeno until onions are opaque. Add garlic and heat through for about 1 minute.
2. Add squash and saute about 5 minutes or until soft.
3. Add diced fresh tomatoes, black beans, corn, cumin, coriander, vinegar (and any meat if you are opting to do so) and heat through. Simmer on low for about 5-8 minutes to reduce down the sauce and develop the flavors. Remove from heat.
4. Preheat oven to 425.
5. Carefully slice the tops of the peppers off and remove all seeds and ribs. Do not discard tops, you will use them. If the peppers are uneven on the bottom and rocking, carefully slice off a small piece so the pepper stands up without wobbling.
6. Begin to layer the filling into the pepper. I usually fill it about 1/3 full then top with a layer of cheese and then repeat. Once the pepper is filled to the top, sprinkle on remaining cheese and replace the pepper tops.
7. Spread the can of diced tomatoes in the bottom of a 9×13 pan and then place peppers in the pan as well.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pepper begins to brown nicely from the roasting and the cheese is melted.
9. Serve warm with rice.
2 small onions
3 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper
4-5ish large tomatoes (during the winter months you can substitute this for a large can of whole Roma tomatoes minus the juice)
1 large handful cilantro
1 fresh jalepeno (or you can use about a TBSP of canned jalepenos)
juice of 3 limes
salt and pepper to taste
**you will need a food processor or a good blender for this recipe**
1. Chopping everything into large chunks.
2. Put the onions and garlic in the food processor (or blender) first. Pulse until the onion and garlic is very finely diced. Add the bell and jalepeno pepper. Pulse a couple times again.
3. Add the tomatoes and lime juice and cilantro. Pulse a few times until you have a nicely textured consistency…I don’t like mine completely pureed, I like to have keep some texture to it.
4. Taste and add salt and pepper. If you like it spicy or acidic, you can add more jalepenos or cilantro at this point as well.
5. Store in the fridge (if you don’t eat it all in one sitting like we tend to do).