Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Cheese

It's the first day of summer as I write this and I felt like something a little different, so I came up with this recipe for something fun and good to eat on a moderately warm Summer day like today...Before you balk, check this recipe out and try to have an open mind.

I know that when people say something like that, that usually means that something won't taste as good..but trust me...This is really good.Check it out-



lb ground turkey or ground beef if you prefer

1/2 lb turkey sausage or regular suasage

1/2 cup instant rice, white or brown

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup ketchup

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, shredded

1 cup baby spinach leaves (a few handfuls)

1 1/2 tbsp. parsley flakes, or 2 tbsp if fresh

1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp if minced

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Johnny's or Lawry's Seasoning Salt

You can either buy Cheese sauce or you can make it from scratch..
(Psst,I'd buy it...but if you're a purist...)

1cup of butter

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. flour

3 1/2 cup milk

1 lb cheese, shredded (I use 1/4 lb cheddar, 1/4 lb Pepper Jack)
Pepper, to taste...


Peppers: Cook rice according to brand instructions.

Cut tops of bell peppers off about 1/3 of the way from the top.

Remove seeds and membrane, rinse.

Coarsely chop tops, discarding stems, and saute with onion and carrot, seasoning with Seasoning Salt.

Brown meat, add to veggie mix. Mix in all remaining filling ingredients, blending well.

Fill pepper shells, compressing with a spoon to fill all compartments. Place in baking pan, meat side up. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35-40 minutes. Top with cheese sauce and serve.

Cheese sauce: Make a light roux by melting butter over medium-high heat, taking care not to scorch. Add 1/2 cup flour in small increments, stirring constantly until smooth. Roux should be pasty. Add milk in 1/2 cup increments while stirring. Stir until sauce thickens to a creamy consistency. Slowly add cheese, stirring until melted. If sauce is thin, add remaining flour 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Warning: The sauce takes quite a while to tighten up (thicken), so start it when you put the filled peppers in the oven and have patience!

Now doesn't that sound delicious???  Enjoy!


Yvonne Anderson said...

Looks Good!

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household