I recall stuffed green peppers with some fondness. Despite having to â€œget overâ€ the vegetable shell, the insides were filled with hamburger meat and tomato sauce, staples of a kidâ€™s diet. I realize there is a traditional dish somewhere from Eastern Europe that is the basis for this mongrelized version reminiscent of my momâ€™s kitchenâ€¦and I make no apologies for not even knowing what a â€œtrueâ€ version might beâ€¦this is stuffed peppers a la Marketmanâ€¦ To make, select some nice large green peppers with shiny and firm skins. Carefully cut out the stem taking care to keep the â€œlidâ€ or cover whole if you want points for presentation. Slice of a bit off of the base without puncturing the pepper to make it stand steadily on a plate and remove all of the white pith and seeds inside. Keep lid or stem if desired. Boil a pot of water and submerge the hollowed out peppers and lids for about 2-3 minutes only. Remove blanched peppers and dip in iced water to retain a nice green color. Set aside. Turn on the oven and set the temperature to say 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a sautÃ© pan on the stove top, add some olive or vegetable oil and sautÃ© some chopped onions and a little minced garlic. Add ground sirloin and or ground pork. Saute until light brown. Season with oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, basil leaves or whatever strikes your fancy or that you have in stock. Add several tablespoons of tomato paste and chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce (the key is to have concentrated flavor, not meat floating in a watery sauce. You can also add some chopped red capsicum, chilli peppers, etc. to add heat and intensify the flavors. Cook down to thicken the sauce. Add some chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or basil if you have it. Stuff the pepper shells and I like to top the meat with some grated parmesan cheese. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is slightly melted. I know many folks cook this with rice mixed in for a complete meal or dishâ€¦I think of the rice as an extender. I donâ€™t add rice because I like to eat my stuffed peppers with a nice serving of boiled white rice. Yum. Sometimes I even add ketchup. Itâ€™s the ultimate sloppy joe in a green pepper case eaten with riceâ€¦yipes, purists are probably rolling their eyes and shaking their heads!