Stuffed Peppers

I made this dish on a Tuesday night. Although the cook time is 1 hour, the recipe I used claimed that the prep only took 20 minutes, which seemed reasonable to me. I figured I’d just start cooking a little early, pop these suckers in the oven, and dinner would be ready by 7:30 at the latest.

My mom knew better. When I told her I was making stuffed peppers, she was delighted, but mentioned that she no longer made them because they took so long to prepare. I rolled my eyes, but sure enough, it took me an hour just to chop all the vegetables! I think we started dinner around 9:00…

Moral of the story: Stuffed peppers are not a weeknight meal. And of course, Moms know best. Also, this meal ended up feeding six people, including three teenage boys. So it’s a great dish to make if you’re cooking for lots of hungry vegetarians.

You will need:

-1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes in puree

-1 jalapeno, minced (This results in a very mild dish. Use more if you want it to be spicier)

-2 onions, chopped

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-salt

-1 can (19 oz) black beans

-1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

-Shredded cheese of your choice (pepper jack is recommended, but I used white and yellow cheddar because that was what I had)

-1 tsp cumin

-Pepper

-Cilantro, separated from stems

-3/4 cup water

-3 bell peppers (or, substitute poblano chiles for a spicier recipe)

-1 oven-safe casserole dish (13×9)

-Aluminium foil

1. Halve bell peppers lengthwise

2. In a food processor, puree tomatoes, jalapeno, one chopped onion, two of the garlic cloves, and salt. Pour mixture into baking dish and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine beans, remaining garlic and onion, cornmeal, grated cheese, cumin, cilantro, 3/4 cup water, salt, and pepper.

Don’t worry — that mush will look a lot more appealing after it’s cooked.

4. Nestle the bell peppers in the baking dish. Stuff with bean mixture, and sprinkle with more cheese and cilantro.

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover baking dish with aluminium foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, then remove aluminium foil and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until sauce has thickened and cheese is browned.

Let cool before serving.

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