29 April 2012

Mexi-Stuffed Peppers with Cilantro Sour Cream

Peppers are on sale...hooray!  I love munching on these sweet little veggies.  They're great raw or cooked, and amazing stuffed.  Typically we go Italian with our stuffed peppers...marinara, beef and lots of garlic.  Yum.  However, we were feeling more spicy this evening, so we went south of the border for dinner inspiration.

I love ground turkey in stuffed peppers.  The flavor is milder than beef, letting the seasonings and pepper be the star.  Also, regular ground chuck can get a little fatty in a pepper and who wants a pocket of fat drippings?  Yuck.  We are also big black bean fans, so I did a combo in our peppers.  This could easily be transformed into a vegetarian recipe by simply doubling the black beans and omitting the turkey.

If your spice pantry is a little bare, you could just go with taco seasoning packets from the store.  However, I like spicing this up myself as it allows me to control just how zesty the peppers turn out.  We dig heat here.  I have suggested amounts below, but feel free to add more or less to the filling to taste - keeping in mind that the pepper is going to significantly mellow the flavor of the filling.  The cilantro sour cream is a perfect garnish, helping your mouth chill out with its cool, fresh taste.

To eat, I highly recommend the tip and half method.  Plus then you get to see all the good stuff inside!

Mexi-Stuffed Peppers with Cilantro Sour Cream (serves 4)
  • 4 peppers (any color you prefer)
  • 2/3 c chopped onion
  • 2/3 c corn
  • 2 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 c black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz ground turkey breast
  • 1 c brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • aprox. 1/4 tsp each cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano & red chili flakes, to taste
  • 6 slices pickled jalapenos, diced
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
  • 4 tbs cilantro
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 4 lime wedges, to garnish
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Chop the tops off your peppers and remove the seeds and membrane.  Place in an 8x8 baking dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  

While peppers are baking, place a large skillet over medium high heat.  Spray with nonstick and cook onions for about 4 minutes, until soft.  Add the garlic and stir together.  Then add corn and black beans and cook for another minute.  Transfer from skillet into a bowl and set aside.  

Place pan back on heat.  Spray again with nonstick (or you could use 1 teaspoon of olive oil) and add ground turkey.  Cook, breaking into small pieces, for 6-7 minutes, until turkey is cooked and no longer pink.  Add spices, 1/3 cup water and diced jalapenos.  Cook until all liquid is gone.  Add back your veggies and the brown rice.  Stir well to combine.  

When your peppers are ready, remove from the oven and fill half way with the mexi-filling.  Then add a tablespoon of shredded cheese to each as a mid-layer.  Finish filling and top with an additional tablespoon of cheese.  Bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is golden.

While peppers are finishing, finely chop the cilantro and stir into the sour cream.  Top each pepper with sour cream and a squeeze of lime.  

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