When we were growing up, this dish was on my mom’s weekly menu. My sister and I looked forward to it because it was our favorite meal and because it was delicious. Then again, everything Mom makes is delicious. I can remember her weekly menu; stuffed peppers, moussaka, potato stew, bean stew, fish, grilled meat, and baked chicken thighs with rice. Even though we knew it was the same thing week in and week out, we still looked forward to every meal.
The peppers for this traditional Macedonian dish are usually stuffed with ground pork and ground beef mixed in with rice. For the reason that we want to prepare healthier food, I am going to use ground turkey instead. But if you want to try these the original way, go ahead and mix 50% ground pork with 50% ground beef.
You will need:
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup long grain rice
- 2 fresh ripe tomatoes, 1 tomato diced and the other cut in 4 slices, crosswise (used for sealing the peppers)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- Preheat oven at 350.
- Cut the tops off the bell peppers and clean out the seeds.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, put the peppers in, and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the peppers carefully and place in a big baking dish that allows just enough room for all the peppers. Set aside.
- In the meantime begin to prepare the stuffing; Put the onions in a skillet, drizzle with EVOO, and cook for 2 minutes before adding in the ground turkey.
- Cook until the meat is browned and add in the rice; mix well and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, salt, basil, cayenne pepper, and onion salt; allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the stove and begin to stuff the peppers.
- When finished, place a slice of tomato on top of each pepper to seal.
- Put in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- If you’re feeling naughty, add a dollop of sour cream on top – YUM!