I'm always looking for ways to use leftovers. For two reasons: 1. I really hate wasting food and 2. It cuts down on cooking time. You can get supper on the table faster and easier. This recipe uses leftover rice (which I always have in the fridge) plus some other staples that are usually in my kitchen.
SMOKED SAUSAGE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
1/2 lb smoked sausage, diced
4 large bell peppers
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced
1 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
4 cups cooked leftover rice (cold)
salt and pepper to taste
Beef broth (or chicken broth)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the tops off the bell peppers.
Clean out the seeds and ribs from inside the peppers.
Remove the stems from the tops.
Dice two of the tops to use in this recipe. The other two tops can be saved for another recipe. You can refrigerate them in a zip top bag for a few days. You can even freeze them for a few months and just thaw out what you need.
Meanwhile, steam the cleaned bell peppers in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. If you don't have a microwave steamer, you can boil a pot of water and then place the peppers in the boiling water for 5-7 minutes. You just want to soften them a little. Not too much, though. They still need to hold their shape.
In a big skillet over medium-high heat, brown the diced sausage.
Once browned, remove the sausage to a plate. Next, add the onion, garlic, green onions and diced bell pepper tops to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until softened.
Return the sausage to the skillet.
Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Stir.
Add the cold, cooked rice and stir to mix thoroughly.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then, add enough beef broth to make the rice wet but not swimming. I used about 1 cup. You don't want the rice to be dry because if it's dry before it goes into the oven, it will be VERY dry when it comes out of the oven. (You can use chicken broth, but I like the depth of flavor the beef broth adds).
Place steamed bell peppers into a baking dish.
Fill the peppers with the rice mixture.
If you have any leftover (or if you have a picky eater who won't eat a bell pepper) you can add some rice straight into the dish. (You could also fill a hollowed out tomato or onion, whatever you have on hand).
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
These stuffed bell peppers are delicious. The peppers impart great flavor to the rice dressing. It almost tastes like a jambalaya, but much faster and easier to make.
This recipe is so easy to double or half, depending on how many mouths you're feeding. You could use Italian Sausage or breakfast sausage, even ground beef, whatever you have in your kitchen. The next time you make rice, make a little extra so you can whip up this easy dish.
My Pickiest Eater Ever Son ate the rice that was not in a pepper (shocking, right?) but he ate. My Old School Italian Husband, who's not a big bell pepper fan, said "Wow, that was really good," as he went back for seconds. I'd say this one's a winner!