This idea came to me as I warily eyed the enormous stack of peppers in my vegetable drawer. Last week, overcome by joy by their sale price at the local market, I bought a preposterous amount. We've been eating them raw, roasted, sauteed, blanched, skinned and grilled for days. If I didn't think of something new and delicious to do with them, I was running the risk of the hubs never wanting to eat a pepper again. Think...think...think....
A few weeks ago, thanks to Deb Perelman's fabulous potato frittata, our love of baked eggs was rejuvenated With lingering memories of that delicious meal, inspiration struck. Peppers are often in omelets, so why not put the omelet in the pepper? Food vessels are fabulous, after all. So I rolled up my sleeves, followed my foodie instincts and came up with something yummy. Risk averted.
The flavors of the filling are a classic savory combo - bacon and cheddar. We used turkey bacon to keep things a bit healthier, but you could absolutely use regular bacon for a richer flavor. The important thing is to get that lovely, salty crunch that only crisp bacon can provide. Contrasting with this salty and savory filling is the tender sweetness of a red bell pepper. Oh man, what a combo. They play off of one another perfectly, making for a very happy mouth. The dish holds together beautifully, and is super easy to eat with a knife and fork. The hubs even ate his half of the pepper stem without realizing it...that's how into this dish he was.
So embrace edible food vessels for breakfast! And stuff a pepper with an omelet.
Baked Breakfast Peppers (2 servings)
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 4 strips turkey bacon, cut into matchsticks about 1/4-inch thick
- 2 tbs minced onion
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- 2 tbs diced tomato
- 1/2 c chopped spinach
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- dash salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbs milk
- 1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the pepper and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the membrane and seeds, but leave the stem on (this will help your filling stay in the pepper). Spray a baking sheet with non-stick and set the peppers flesh down/skin up on the sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 9-10 minutes, until soft. When you remove the peppers from the oven, flip so they are open-side up.
While the peppers are baking, place a medium pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon matchsticks until crispy, then remove to a paper towel to drain. Reduce the heat under the pan to medium low. Add the onion and cook for two minutes, then add the garlic, tomato and spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach is wilted and bright, then remove to a small mixing bowl. Let cool for a minute or two.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites and milk. Add 3/4 of the cooked bacon, the cooked vegetables and 1/4 cup of the cheese and mix together. Pour the egg mixture into the peppers (if the eggs run over a bit, no big deal). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are set and starting to puff in the center. Garnish with the remaining cheese and bacon and serve. Cilantro, salsa and avocado are awesome on top, too!