10 November 2007


These are not your typical stuffed peppers. I've never liked stuffed peppers. Probably because they taste like Bad Mexican. Bad Mexican is heavy on melted cheese, heavy on greasy beef, and manages to taste like beans no matter what is in it. Bad Mexican is unhappy American food that changed its name (Good Mexican, of course, doesn't get better than beef quesadillas at Frisco Burrito in Towson. Super fresh sour cream; succulent, sizzling beef; otherworldly pico de gallo; and perfectly crisped tortillas. If you've had them, you know what I mean and why I don't feel bad about giving them free advertising. If you haven't: it's time for a pilgrimage.)

I don't like not liking food. I needed to take the Bad Mexican out of the stuffed pepper. I needed to use the fresh ingredients taking over our kitchen closets.

I ended up with a sweet, vegetarian friendly twist on a savory, bean-y staple of the Bad Mexican type. Instead of rice, I used pumpernickel bread to fill out the stuffing, and instead of melty nacho cheese or tomato sauce to bind it all together, I used mustard. I was first introduced to the delight of apples in spicy mustard one July when it was time to use up ungifted Christmas gift basket non-perishables. What I wanted was an excuse to throw out some dreadfully pungent and therefore unusable mustard (and I've always been a ketchup girl, anyway). Apparently, dreadfully pungent mustard plus super sweet apples equals delightfully stimulated taste buds on both the sweet and tangy receptors which makes mouths happy. I wanted to carry that experience over to my stuffed pepper makeover, so I replaced the beef (which in this sort of preparation tends to be greasy no matter what the cook does) with apples and peppers. Kind of like stuffing a turkey with minced turkey innards, I guess.

I can't think of stuffed peppers as Bad Mexican anymore; I can only think of this, and that's a good thing.


Bought at the store:

4 apples (Cortland, Winesap, or Gala. 2 for the stuffing. The other 2 to be stuffed, if you want more sweet than savory in the final product.)

3 slices pumpernickel bread

3 ½ Tablespoons Dijon mustard

parmesan cheese

chili powder


garlic salt

Harvested locally:

5 green bell peppers (3 for the stuffing, 2 to be stuffed. If you're not stuffing the apples, use 7: 3 for stuffing, 4 to be stuffed.)

2 medium spicy red mystery peppers

  1. Carve the cores out of two green peppers and two apples.
  2. Dice and mash the remaining apples, green peppers, and the pumpernickel slices.
  3. Stir in sliced red pepper rounds, mustard, and spices to taste.
  4. Pack the cored peppers and apples with your stuffing, top with an extra dusting of chili powder.
  5. Bake peppers for 15-20 minutes at 400O F and apples for 10-15 minutes (until they begin splitting and bubbling out of their skins) at 400O F.


1 comment:

AJ Star said...

you had me at pumpernickel. my grandmother used to make stuffed green peppers with a beef and rice sort of mush ALL THE TIME when i was a child, so i developed a strong aversion to them as well. but your redefinition of it and incredibly tasty sounding substitutions make me feel like giving them another go. and THAT'S a good thing!