Last week I bought a bag of colorful bell peppers at a local veggie store and immediately thought of our traditional family recipe – stuffed bell peppers. When I was little, my mother made this on so many occasions when we had guests over. She would stuff the peppers with ground beef and rice mixture, simmer peppers in a creamy tomato sauce, then serve with mashed potatoes. br>
I usually make stuffed peppers in late summer or early fall when fresh locally grown peppers are cheap and abundant. I prefer to use medium-sized peppers which look more elegant when stuffed. The secret is to soak the rice in water for about two hours before making the the stuffing mixture. It will then soak up beef flavor while simmering in the sauce and will be perfectly cooked.
It’s also important not to overstuff the pepper. Don’t try to cram the stuffing into every nook and cranny – remember that rice will expand while cooking. You don’t want a big lump of stuffing bursting out of the pepper.