Green Bell Peppers are in season and there are a lot to be found at the farmers’ markets and supermarkets. Take advantage of their low price and pick some up on your next shopping trip. What can you make with them? Certainly sauteing them in olive oil with onions makes for a great topping for any kind of grilled meat or fish. Stuffing them makes for a fine main dish. Here is a different way to stuff them.
Small Batch Pork and Bean Chili
You certainly can double all the ingredients for the chili to make a full batch. I like to keep this small batch on hand to use with hot dogs or nachos and for stuffing vegetables. This recipe makes use of leftover pork or beef.
For the beans:
If you don’t have time to cook beans, skip that step and use 1 1/2 cups drained and rinsed canned beans instead.
1 cup dried pinto or kidney beans
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
For the chili:
Variation: add 1 cup of fresh corn kernels to the chili, when adding the tomatoes.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 oz leftover pork or beef, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
Prepare the beans:
In a medium bowl, soak the beans in enough water to cover by at least 2 inches and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the beans and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water by about 1 inch. Add the onion, garlic, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
Add ½ teaspoon salt and continue to simmer until tender, about 30 minutes more. Drain and reserve 1 ½ cups for the chili and reserve the rest for another dish.
Make the chili:
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale gold, about 15 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste.
Add the pork, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the meat is so tender that it falls apart, about 30 minutes. Stir the beans into the chili and simmer for about 15 minutes before using.
Chili Stuffed Peppers
For every 2 servings you will need:
2 green bell peppers
Pork and Bean Chili, about a ½ cup for each pepper
Grated cheddar cheese
Slice off the stem end of the peppers and remove and discard seeds and membranes.
Place the peppers in a glass dish, cut side down, add a few tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave the peppers on high for two minutes. Drain the peppers on a paper towel.
Stand peppers upright in the glass baking dish.
Spoon in the chili until it reaches the top of the pepper, cover the top with shredded cheese. Repeat until all of the peppers you are cooking are filled.
Cover the dish and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Remove the cover and place some shredded cheese on top of each pepper.
Return the dish to the oven and heat until the cheese melts.
Remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.