Thursday, September 14, 2017

Magnificent (and Healthy!) Stuffed Peppers #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Before I talk about food, I wanted to acknowledge what a difficult week it's been for those in the path of Hurricane Irma. This included my beloved Florida Keys, though Key West itself sustained less damage than the islands further north. (And also in the Caribbean islands further south.) My heart is down there with the workers who are trying to restore phone, electric, water, and sewer service--and with all those anxiously awaiting news of their homes and businesses. I'm hoping and praying that life can return to something like normal soon on that magical spray of islands...

Now back to food...Two things happened this week that led me to this particular post. First, our green peppers began to ripen in the garden. Aren't they gorgeous? And second, in my quest to slowly clean stuff out of my closet and drawers, I found an old cast iron frying pan that came from my dad. He worked for International Nickel Company his whole career, and he was very proud of the nickel plating on this pan. I did not take care of it the way my sister does with her cast-iron pans, which is to say, don't wash them with soap. Instead, clean them with water and then oil them. You can see the logo on the back of the pan testifying that it came from the Griswold company in Erie Pennsylvania. Apparently they stopped making these in 1957, and it seems as though I have a collectors' item. So I thought I better start using it! (Even if I've possibly ruined the finish.)

I have a recipe for stuffed peppers which both John and I have loved. Unfortunately it's fairly high in sodium because of the sausage and the spaghetti sauce that I used to choose. And don't forget the cheddar cheese! If you're not concerned about sodium, you can find that recipe here. It was also a favorite of my mother-in-law. 

Meanwhile here are the instructions for this updated version, which was also delicious. 


5 to 6 large green peppers
One large or two smaller onions, chopped
One hot pepper, diced
Handful of fresh basil, shredded
24 oz spaghetti sauce (Mine came from a local store, Bishops, and has only 140 mg sodium 
per quarter cup)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Half cup rice (I use brown)
Half cup water
1 to 1 1/4 pounds ground beef

Brown the beef and set it aside to drain. Add a dollop of olive oil to the pan and sauté the chopped onions, Hot pepper, and rice for a few minutes. Add the sauce, the water, the beef, and the Worcestershire sauce, and sliced basil, and simmer this until the rice is soft, half hour to 45 minutes depending on the brand you use.

Slice the peppers lengthwise, and take out the seeds and webbing. 

Place them in a greased 9 x 13 hand. When the beef mixture is ready, fill the pepper shells with the sauce and top with a little grated Parmesan if you desire.Bake at 350 for half an hour or until the peppers are soft and the stuffing bubbly. Here's the whole photo review:

chopped peppers, onions and basil

Everything is browning
simmering in my father's pan
Stuffed and ready to bake
Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...


  1. An heirloom pan! What a wonderful find. (Almost makes you want to go clean out your drawers, and closets, and boxes, and trunks... And your peppers truly are gorgeous.

    1. Thank you Sheila! I knew you would appreciate that pan. I couldn't believe what I had when I googled the marking ...

  2. I grew up in Erie, PA and have never heard of the Griswold Company, though I've heard of many other companies that no longer exist. One of the nice things about cast iron skillets is that you can pretty much always bring them back to life! Thanks for sharing your healthier recipe! This is similar to mine, though I use (super high-sodium) canned tomato soup instead of spaghetti sauce. And sometimes I rough chop the green peppers and mix it in as a casserole and bake.

    1. The casserole sounds like an easy way to go. And I used to worry about cooking the peppers ahead, but now I like them a tiny bit crispy, so this is really not that much trouble.

  3. You just need to season your skillet again and it will be ready to use. I used to make stuffed peppers when we were first married. However my husband declared he like stuffed peppers but they don't like him. So goodbye peppers!

    1. That's too bad, but sometimes we do have to make concessions for the folks we love! In John's case, he's on a low sodium diet like it or not LOL

  4. Lucy, I'm sure you can recondition that pan -- warm it, then reseason it with a little oil. I'm sad for your Keys, and a little envious of your peppers -- I've never been able to get bell peppers to fully ripen in our climate.

    1. Thanks Leslie! I'm sad too. And very sad for the Caribbean islands which appear to be decimated.

    2. An all time favorite restaurant, Asolare on St. John, was pretty much blown off the hillside!

  5. Like Pat D's husband, peppers and I aren't the best of friends.
    But this does sound very tasty.
    Question:"Place them in a greased 9 x 13 hand." I haven't seen many 9 X 13 hands. Could this, perhaps, be a pan?

    I'm glad to hear Key West was somewhat spare by Irma. It is awful about the damage to the rest of the Keys.
    It's all so arbitrary. Driving around the Boca Raton area you see a tree torn out of the ground, surrounded by others that are untouched.

    1. Maybe I can find some lovely big tomatoes and stuff them instead of the peppers!

    2. Lol yes that would be a pan ! Hope you and yours did not suffer any damage Libby.

    3. Sunday seemed to last forever with the wind and the rain.
      We lost power and phones for about a day.
      We were very lucky. Little yard damage and power back quickly.
      We did have multiple tornado warnings where we squeezed into a tiny bathroom to wait.

  6. We love all of our cast irons. Sounds delicious. Continued prayers and thoughts for all those hit by the hurricane and those fighting the fires too

  7. I love cast iron pans and Dutch ovens. So glad to have this wonderful recipe. Your peppers are beautiful! XO