I love stuffed peppers…so when I saw a recipe using aborio rice, I thought I’d try it. That’s the same rice you would use to make risotto, so it’s a rounder grain, it produces a creamier finished product, and I found the entire stuffed pepper held together really well when you sliced the pepper in halves or quarters. Recipes for stuffed peppers are a dime a dozen, and I’ve adapted this version from the current (Aug/Sept 2011) edition of Cook’s Country magazine. There is no meat in my version, but you could easily reduce the rice and add in some sauteed ground beef, chicken or sausage. Also, you could bake these in the oven, but it’s nice and easy to throw in the slow-cooker and walk away for a few hours. Give it a try, the peppers are so good right now–serve as a nice lunch with a salad, or serve half of a stuffed pepper as a side dish with dinner. So delish!
adapted from Cook’s Country
makes 4 stuffed peppers
4 medium sized peppers, colours of your choice, tops removed and peppers cleaned out
1 cup aborio rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced finely
tops of peppers, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red hot chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup asiago cheese (or parmesan, or cheddar, whatever you like), grated
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes (canned or jarred)
In 2 L microwaveable casserole dish with lid, place aborio rice and chicken or vegetable stock. Cover and microwave on high for 13 minutes. Stir. Microwave an additional 3 minutes. Set aside. In large heavy bottomed pan, melt butter and add olive oil. Add onion and saute over medium heat. Dice pepper tops and add to onion mixture. Cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add oregano, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another minute. Add white wine and cook until almost absorbed, then add crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
Remove 3/4 cup of tomato mixture and set aside. Mix rice into remaining tomato mixture, as well as asiago cheese. Fill peppers with rice/tomato/cheese mixture. Pour half of reserved tomato sauce in slow cooker, place peppers in slow cooker and pour remaining sauce on top. Cover, and cook on low for 2-2 1/2 hours. Serve and enjoy. Add some additional cheese on top, if preferred.
*alternatively, place in a baking dish, covered, and bake at 350F in the oven for an hour or until peppers have softened.