Since Nathan’s recent attempt to burn down our condo I have been employing our trusty and less fire-prone oven to prepare our meals. This past weekend we were having guests over and I wanted something easy that I could simply pull out of the oven when our friends arrived. We decided to do an old classic with a Rampant Cuisine twist…Mexican Stuffed Peppers! The recipe incorporates the traditional elements of ground beef and rice while mixing it up with the addition of cilantro, queso fresco, and a little spicy heat. Top the peppers with a sour cream sauce, pair them with our Classic Margarita, and you have the perfect meal for your upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebrations!
Mexican Stuffed Peppers:
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 mild sausage
½ pound lean ground beef
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 cup rice, uncooked (you’ll need 1½-2 cups cooked rice)
½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
Dash of Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup Mexican cheese blend (or you can just use cheddar or Monterey Jack)
6 bell peppers in assorted colors, we used green, yellow and red…orange would be good too!
½ cup sour cream
Heat oven to 375° F. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Next, add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the beef and sausage and cook, breaking the meats up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, diced tomatoes, cooked rice (you may not need all the cooked rice…add just enough to balance the meat to your liking), queso fresco, cilantro, cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. At this point, taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings to your palate. Arrange the bell peppers, cut-side up, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or pan. Divide the beef mixture among the bell peppers, add ½ cup water to the dish, tightly cover the dish with foil, and bake until the bell peppers are soft, 40-50 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the Mexican cheese, and bake until browned, 5-7 minutes more.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and ¼ cup water. Drizzle over the bell peppers and top with chopped cilantro.