Sometimes, when making stuffed peppers, you’ll end up with leftover meat. The first thing you want to do in this situation is remain calm. Remember: meat is your friend.
To keep your dinner from being ruined, simply form the meat into small balls and cook them alongside the peppers.
Don’t view this as a personal failure. When you end up with meatballs, everybody wins.
Question: What other mistakes have you turned into culinary gold?
Mmmm… now that’s some delicious photography.
I’m not sure how the tasty, but humble, meatball made the leap from “the sauce” into this greener dish. But I don’t care; it just really works. And, unlike some of my recipes, this one has veggies built in. As that Red Stripe spokesman would say: “Hooray veggies!”
Like a cooking version of The Da Vinci Code, this meatball recipe was cleverly hidden inside my Stuffed Peppers recipe from way back. However, instead of stuffing peppers with the meat mixture, you just need to form it into balls and fry ‘em up. Instant gratification.
Well, not exactly “instant.” No matter how hard I try, browning the meatballs in oil still leaves the inside raw. That’s why most people throw them into the tomato sauce while it’s still percolating. It finishes off the cooking process of the meatballs, as well as thickens the sauce.
The same thing goes in this recipe. In fact, instead of removing the meatballs in order to saute the onions, it doesn’t hurt to just push the balls to the side. Then, covering up the whole thing with peas will trap the heat, and cook the meat some more.
A note of caution: always make sure the meatballs are actually done. I usually select the thickest meatball to cut into when I’m ready to serve, just to make sure it’s cooked through.
There’s nothing that can flip your stomach faster than an undercooked meatball. Trust me.
After storing, reheating and storing again, stuffed peppers can take a beating. It’s especially difficult to microwave them, because they will not heat through in their natural form. So, you’ll probably end up cutting them into little pieces and mixing everything together.
Yeah, I know … it looks messy. But it still tastes like a little slice of heaven.
So, have you all tried this recipe yet? If so, you will have discovered that it’s the bomb! Seriously, it’s just about my favorite meal.
Like most of the recipes that will appear on this blog, it’s a hand-me-down from dear, old Mom. Although, I hope she’s not reading this, because she wouldn’t appreciate being called “old.” But I mean it in the most endearing way possible.
Anyway, since the wife is a semi-vegi (no cows, no pigs), I usually substitute ground turkey for the meatloaf mixture. Maybe I’m too used to it this way, but it’s damn good. Of course, the original formulation will yield a more rich stuffing. You may also need a crash cart.
Generally, I’m a Parmesan freak. I only use the real stuff on pasta (procured from DiBruno Brothers, natch). But when I’m using it more as an ingredient, I have been known to use the tube stuff. I know my Italian relatives are spinning in their grave, but I’ve made my peace with it.
Biggest danger in this recipe: the sauce. Mine tends to be on the soupy side. I need to let the water evaporate off in the last ten minutes to get it back down to an acceptable viscosity.
Let me know how yours turn out.