Camp Kitchen: Stuffed Peppers
STUFFED PEPPERS PRONTO
Look for precooked ground beef or vegetarian “meat” crumbles. Serves three to six persons. (Big eaters will want two halves.)
• 3 large green peppers, halved and seeded
• 1-1/2 cups instant rice
• 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
• 1-1/2 cups boiling water
• 12-ounce package precooked ground beef or imitation meat crumbles.
• 8-ounce package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
• Small can diced chiles, drained
• 14-ounce can Mexican-style diced tomatoes,
• Pepitas (roasted, salted, hulled pumpkin seeds)
• Hot sauce (optional)
Arrange the pepper halves in a sprayed baking dish. Boil water in a small pan and add the rice and seasoned salt. Then cover and let stand until rice is soft. Layer the rice, meat crumbles, chiles and cheese in peppers. Spoon diced tomatoes on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is heated and the peppers are crisp-tender but still holding their shape. Sprinkle pepitas on top. Pass the hot sauce. Complete the meal with crusty rolls, deli coleslaw and Mexican hot chocolate.
EASY WAYS TO ADD SOUTHWESTERN FLAVOR
• Mix up a chocolate box cake, put half the batter in the pan and sprinkle with crumbled Mexican wedding cookies. Top with remaining batter.
• Lay out large flour tortillas and spread thinly with whipped cream cheese, then salsa verde. Add a layer of thin-sliced lunchmeat and bits of tomato, then a sprinkling of pepper jack cheese. Roll up, cut in half and serve cold. Or, “nuke” gently to melt the cheese.
• When making Tex-Mex cornbread, put half the batter in the pan and top it with a layer of shredded cheese. Then add remaining batter.
• Spread a can of refried beans on a plate and top with layers of sour cream, salsa, chopped onion and shredded cheese. Serve at room temperature or “nuke” a few seconds to melt the cheese. Scoop it up with tortilla chips, raw vegetable sticks or crackers.
• Arrange red or green pepper halves in a baking dish. Fill with a layer of canned black beans, a layer of finely chopped onion, a layer of cooked rice and a layer of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until everything is hot and the peppers are crisp-tender.
• Press 2 cups cooked rice in a sprayed 8-inch square baking pan. Top with an even layer of corned beef from a can, broken up. Top with a layer of salsa, a layer of canned pinto beans, more salsa and a layer of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees to heat through. For stovetop baking, use a 10-inch covered skillet. Bake over low flame until heated through.
• Using a round baking pan, make lasagna the usual way, but use flour tortillas instead of lasagna noodles. Serve in wedges.
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