I know I've been on a sausage run here lately, and I said I'd get away from that--but I can't resist one more recipe. It's Mother's Day tomorrow and you're probably thinking "why is Lucy talking sausage-stuffed peppers to celebrate mothers?"
Here's why: this post is in honor of my mother-in-law, Dorothy, who loves this recipe as much as I do! And she's moving from Florida to Maine, so she'll need some dinners that will warm her from the inside out...
This is an "early" photo of Dorothy and me--I think it was taken about fifteen years ago at the first golf member-guest we played in. I wasn't much of a golfer and we were plenty nervous! We had a good time though--she's a good sport, in addition to having produced my wonderful husband...
So back to the peppers... This is an old-fashioned supper that had its genesis in a recipe from THE BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS COOKBOOK. Many tweaks later, here's my version. If you don't like the idea of sausage, you can substitute ground beef or turkey. For the vegetarian, I think you'd be fine substituting black beans or garbanzos or a mixture, for the meat. I prefer to make this in the summer when I can pluck the peppers right from the garden, but it sure tastes good when the weather's cold. I recommend organic peppers if you can find them, as these vegetables do tend to absorb pesticides…Other recipes suggest you parboil the peppers, but I haven't found this step to be necessary.
1 16 oz roll sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar Classico spicy red pepper pasta sauce (or your choice)
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 uncooked green peppers
Saute the sausage or beef until brown, then drain on paper towels. Saute the chopped onions in the same pan. Return the meat to the pan once the onions are soft. Add the uncooked rice, the water, the Worcestershire sauce, and half the jarred sauce. Simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked. This might take a half hour, depending on your rice--and you might need to add a little water along the way. Then stir in the cheese.
While the meat mixture is simmering, cut the peppers lengthwise. Cut out the stems and seeds and membranes. Pour the remaining half of the sauce into a greased baking dish, and set the peppers into the pan. When the meat mixture is ready, stuff it into the peppers, cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes at 350 until peppers are soft and sauce is bubbling. Even your mother-in-law will find them irresistible!
And to celebrate all mothers and stepmothers and mothers-in-law and women who have acted like mothers in our lives, please enjoy this video of former US poet laureate Billy Collins reading his poem, The Lanyard. It's one of my absolute favorites and a perfect accompaniment to the day!
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. Please "like" her on facebook and follow her on Twitter. DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be out in September, but you can order it now!