Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers

First, let's address the elephant in the room--- the blog name change.  The reason is,  my sister is always on me that I blog more food than CrossFit.  Which... is totally true.  So,  I still want the option to blog about weight lifting if I need to do so,  but I also want to focus more on my first love FOOD.  Barbells and Biscuits better encompasses what this blog is about.  And,  I want to branch more in critiquing restaurants and namely local sandwiches,  because sandwiches are my actual first love.

Anyway,  now that we are past that--- I hated stuffed peppers as a kid.  Did I ever tell you this before?  My dad made them when I was a kid and the mere thought of his offends me. I get it,  he had three kids that needed to be fed and they needed to be fed fast,  before they turned into Gremlins.  His version was ground meet stuffed into a hard green pepper and covered in sauce.  Baked until done and served hot to the wee ones who were led to believe the smell of tomato sauce in the oven was Pizza.   After that meal,  pizza was well deserved.

We all despised stuffed peppers,  even my mom.  I know she didn't say anything because she didn't want to upset the cook,  You see, my mother is a smart woman.  She knew who fed her,  and she never criticized the cook in fear of having her meal ticket cut off.  Now a days,  she doesn't care anymore so she says whatever she wants.  I suppose that's what happens when you get old.

The one trick I will impart to you about stuffed peppers,  is you must boil the peppers first to slightly soften them.  Otherwise no matter how long you cook them in the oven they will be hard and difficult to cut.

Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Prep: 10-15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

3-4 green peppers ( I used 3 because they were huge)
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 garlic cloves, diced
10 sun dried tomatoes,  diced
4 ounces buffalo mozzarella,  cut into chunks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
8-10 leaves fresh basil
1 28 ounce can diced tomato
1 cup freshly grated sharp provolone

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2.   Fill a large stock pot half way with water and bring to a boil.
3.  While the water is heating remove the lids from the green peppers and clean out most of the seeds from the inside.
4.  Drop peppers into the water and cover pot with a tight fitting lid for 10 minutes.
5.  Prepared all of the ingredients now by dicing the garlic,  sun dried tomatoes, julienne 6 of the fresh basil leaves, and chunking the mozzarella.
6. While the peppers are cooking mix the following in a large bowl:  turkey, brown rice, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, salt, black pepper, parsley, oregano, 6 fresh basil leaves, and 4 ounces of the diced tomatoes with juice.
7.  Mix well and set aside while you tend to the peppers.
8.  Drain the peppers into a strainer and run cold water over them so they can be easily handled.  
9.   In a large baking dish oil the bottom and add about 10 ounces of the diced tomatoes to the bottom of the dish.
10.  Begin stuffing your peppers,  and use the excess to make little mini meatballs for people like your mother who hate stuffed peppers.
11.  Top peppers with remaining diced tomatoes and then cover tops with shredded sharp provolone cheese.
12.  Throw in oven for 45 minutes until the top is bubbly and the turkey is cooked through in your one mini meatball.
13.  Serve with remaining basil as a garnish :).  Or do like me and cut the whole thing up to make a stuffed pepper bowl.