I don’t know if you know this, but fall is my favorite season. By like, a LOT. Is there anyone out there who DOESN’T like fall? If so, I’m not sure I want to be friends with you. But that doesn’t mean you should stop reading this post. Particularly if you like stuffed peppers.
So to recap, if you don’t like fall, but you do like stuffed peppers, then let’s just agree to disagree, even though we both know that I’m right, you’re wrong, and the world is a better place now that that’s all figured out.
However, I’m still working on what to do if you like neither fall nor stuffed peppers. As of this moment it involves you going to Siberia, and NOT to train like Rocky in order to beat the man/machine Drago, played by the granite-faced Dolph Lundgren.
The greatest thing about fall is that it inspires me to cook, and the best thing about stuffed peppers is that you can stuff them with just about anything you have on hand. This is my most recent iteration of stuffed peppers based on two things: What was in the cabinets and my inherent laziness. Swede started pulling random cans out and putting them on the counter, and looking at what was available, I plucked a few items out of the lineup, closed my eyes and prayed that it would all work out, and if not, that there was enough wine in the house so that Swede would not notice dinner tasted like poo. My alternative to this potential disaster was to go to the Jewel and get something that made sense, like chicken wings, but that would involve putting on a bra, and it was just too late for that, my friend.
Thankfully, the stuffed pepper mix I came up with was a success, and I encourage all of you to try it, or try your own imaginative mixture and see what happens. Just make sure there’s enough wine in the house in case it all ends up being a disaster. But then again, if you have a good pizza place near you, nothing is ever a disaster because the worst case scenario is that you dump the ruined dinner in the garbage and call for a large cheese and sausage, and if that is the worst case scenario then I live to ruin dinner.
Peppers of any color—green, red, yellow, orange; whatever strikes your fancy
Cooked orzo pasta (about a cup)
Cheese of your liking (in this case, we used an asiago blend, I believe)
1 can northern beans, rinsed
salt and pepper
Cut the top off the peppers and pull out the seeds. Save the tops (you’ll need them later), and discard the seeds. Parboil the peppers for three minutes. Parboil means drop the peppers in boiling water for three minutes. Then pull them out and let them cool off for a minute or two, until you can handle them without burning your fingertips.
Chop the onion and sautee it for about five minutes, until softened. Drain and rinse the northern beans. Mix the onion, cooked orzo, beans, about two tablespoons of pesto and the amount of cheese that your heart desires. More or less pesto can be used—you just need enough to get the mix to kind of “stick” together.
Divide the mixture between the two hollowed out and slightly softened peppers. Top with the pepper tops you cut off earlier, and place the peppers in a baking dish. Place in an oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through.
And that’s it! We ate these with baked chicken breasts on the side, but you can eat the peppers as a meal itself if that’s what your heart is calling for.