I am continuing my series on Southern classic sides featuring pimento cheese spread, a spread ingrained in Southern American culture. Traditionally stuffed peppers are made with green peppers stuffed with rice, ground beef, onion and tomato sauce topped with melted cheese. We could change the ground beef to pork, chicken, shrimp or lamb or leave the meat out completely to make a vegetarian version. We could use broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, okra, corn or almost any other vegetable. Instead of rice we could use bread or bread crumbs, a pasta like orzo or potato. For my version I not going to stray too far away and use rice, ground meat, corn and of course pimento cheese but make your own version using something your family likes. Maybe you can start your own new family tradition.
2 large firm red peppers
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup cooked ground beef
1/2 small diced onion
1/2 cup pimento cheese (home made or store bought)
1/2 cup creamed corn
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
pinch onion powder
pinch dried mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
6 Tbsp. crushed Ritz crackers (or toasted bread crumbs)
6 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cut the red peppers lengthwise in half and clean out seeds and ribs to make a nice cavity.
2. Saute the rice, ground beef and onion until the onions start to soften. Mix in the creamed corn, the pimento cheese, rice and then the remaining ingredients minus the parmesan cheese and toasted bread crumbs. Stuff this mixture into the hollowed out peppers. Mix the cheese and cracker (or bread) crumbs and sprinkle over the tops of the peppers. Bake at 375 degrees until the tops are browned and the peppers are starting to soften. Keep warm and serve. Serves 4.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.