Wow! Sorry to keep you all hanging for so long! It has been over a year since my last post. A lot has changed since then. I now have an amazing boyfriend who also enjoys cooking and has introduced me to several new recipes. I also recently moved from America’s Finest City. I am happy to announce that I got accepted to medical school, so I packed everything up (most of it was kitchen stuff) and moved to The City Beautiful, Orlando, Florida. My kitchen is much larger here than I had in San Diego, but I did have to go back to using an electric stove top. My family was in town for my White Coat Ceremony last week, so we spent most of our meals out trying new restaurants. Now that they’ve returned to Portland, I am back to cooking for one. I had some leftover bell peppers, so I decided to make stuffed bell peppers over the weekend. I wanted to steer away from ground beef (no pun intended), so I decided to adapt a recipe from one of the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.
Stuffed Bell Peppers with Chicken, Mozzarella, and Basil
These are a delicious dinner idea. To save time, cook the onions and ground chicken, while the peppers are blanching and the rice is cooking. To ensure that the stuffed bell peppers wouldn’t tip over in the oven, I baked them in 10-ounce ramekins. Feel free to use any color of pepper that you prefer.
- 4 bell peppers, cut top off and remove seeds and rib
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 1/4 cups mozzarella, shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 slice hearty white bread, crust removed and processed to coarse crumbs
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt to water and submerge the peppers into the boiling water. Cook until peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove the peppers and place cut side up on a dry paper towel. Return the water to boiling and add the rice. Cook rice until tender, about 13 minutes. Drain rice, then transfer to large bowl and set aside. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown. Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking up the chicken into small pieces. When the chicken is cooked through, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the rice, stir in tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Place each pepper cut side up in a 10-ounce ramekin, or place them in a 9-inch square baking dish. Divide the filling evenly among the peppers. Sprinkle the tops of the peppers with bread crumbs, and bake until bread crumbs have browned and filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.