The bell peppers are obviously supposed to be the spotlight ingredient…but the tomatoes always make this dish extra special!
1 1/2 cups calrose or medium grain rice
1/2 cup ground beef
1/2 can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 fresh, large tomatoes
4-5 bell peppers (color of your choice)
1/2 – 1 can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large pan
Step 1: Cut off the tops of the bell pepper and tomatoes and gut them. Clearly the bell pepper will be much easier to handle than the tomato. Simply be gentle and remove as much of the inside of the tomato as you can and be sure to save the pulp because you will use it later.
Step 2: Give the bell peppers a quick salt bath. Simply fill a bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of water and dip the bell peppers into them. It will add flavor to the pepper and also help remove left over seeds. As for the tomatoes, dip your finger into salt and rub the inside of the tomato.
Step 3: Arrange bell peppers and tomatoes into tray. Set tops of peppers and tomatoes aside.
Step 4: Rinse and soak rice for about 5-10 minutes. Set aside. Place a medium-sized pot on the stove over high heat and add ground beef. Continue to stir and break down until meat is no longer pink.
***If you would like to make this a VEGETARIAN dish, simple sauté onions in a bit of vegetable oil and then add finely chopped carrots and/or any other vegetable that you prefer. Then follow the steps below using your substitute vegetable mix.
Step 5: Add salt and pepper to meat when no longer pink. Give it a taste. Add more salt or pepper if you desire. Add strained rice over the meat and stir for a minute or so until all ingredients are combined.
Step 6: Add 1/2 can of tomato sauce and water. Stir all ingredients for about 5-7 minutes. The rice in the mixture will not be fully cooked.
Step 7: Remove rice from heat and bring to your working station. Begin feeling each of your peppers and tomatoes. Fill them up to the rim, cover with each lid, and place back into the baking tray.
Step 8: Grab the bowl of tomato pulp and using a potato masher, smash up as much as you can. Add 1/2-1 can of tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cup of hot (not boiling) water, and 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Give it a stir and pour into your baking tray. You want to fill up the tray half-way. So if you don’t have enough, add additional water or tomato sauce. It simply depends on your preference. Be sure to always taste for salt and pepper. You may want to add more!
Step 9: Cover with foil and bake for 45 minute to one hour at 375°F or until rice is tender. You also have the option of uncovering the tray at the end and broiling the top for a minute or so.