I’ve made stuffed bell peppers before, and I liked them. It’s something a little bit out of the ordinary, and who doesn’t like dinner that looks like a present?
But these stuffed bell peppers were the best I’ve ever made. I mean it. They were delicious, and they got an A+ from the husband. Peanut even eyed them greedily, although he only managed to get his paws on a tiny piece of sausage.
The recipe is from Emeril’s cookbook, Farm to Fork.
One of these is not like the other.
The red pepper among all of the green peppers is a special addition from our garden. That one lone pepper started growing in a pot in Norfolk, was moved to our apartment in Lynchburg, and then got planted in the ground at our new house. It was more like “Postage stamp yard to patio to farm to fork.” Even though the recipe calls for green peppers, and we’re too cheap to buy red or yellow peppers, that one stuffed red pepper was even better than the green ones. I could really taste the difference. If you’re feeling rich at the grocery store, go for it.
The only other changes I made to the recipe were more or less accidental. The recipe calls for 12 ounces of Italian sausage. The container at the store had 16 ounces, and if there’s one thing I know about Scott, it’s that he thinks more meat equals better food. I used all 16 ounces.
Also, sometime between picking the recipe last week and making it last night, I forgot that it calls for tomatoes, and I made a delicious tomato and goat cheese salad the other day instead of saving them for this recipe. So I scrambled around to find what we had that could possibly work. Salsa didn’t quite make the cut, but I remembered that we randomly had canned tomatillas. Problem solved!
Tomatillas are definitely a switch from tomatoes. They added a flavor in the stuffing that almost tasted a tiny bit lime-ish. And you know what? I think it worked. The stuffed peppers ended up with so much flavor and perfectly browned, crispy sausage mixed with the typical pepper, onion, garlic, rice stuffing. I honestly think that the tomatillas made the difference between pretty darn good and pretty darn great. I should probably try the recipe the way it was written before I give myself that much credit, however.
One other practical perk of this recipe is that the 35 minutes of baking time at the end gave me a chance to clean up the kitchen a bit before I got distracted by the business of eating. Thanks, Emeril.