I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stuffed Peppers and Twice Baked Potatoes

Even this far south it is beginning to feel like fall. We decided to have a more Fall-type meal this weekend. One thing I ate a lot when growing up was stuffed peppers. Every culture has their own variation of stuffed peppers. Mexicans have Chiles Rillenos. Middle Easterners have their own versions. I'm sure the Russians have a version that includes vodka. This version is the one that I ate while growing up as an upper midwest white boy. The other thing we made this weekend was twice baked potatoes. I never ate those when growing up. I think that upper midwest cooks are offended at the thought of baking something twice.

Stuffed Peppers

4 large green peppers
1 lb. Hamburger
1/2 chopped onion
1 can of tomatoes, cut up
1 can tomato soup + 1 can water
1 c. uncooked rice
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper
½ c. shredded cheese

Cut tops off peppers and seed. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. Brown the hamburger and onion and stir in undrained tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Cook covered until flavors combine, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the uncooked rice, and the ½ cup cheese. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine the tomato soup + can water in your baking dish (Dutch oven works well). Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture and place in the baking dish. Spoon some of the tomato soup mixture over the top of each pepper. Bake covered at 375 degrees until the green peppers soften, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided

Bake potatoes in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. You want the potatoes to be soft enough that you can scoop out the pulp, leaving a small rim of potato and the skin behind to form a boat. Bake them naked, unwrapped by anything, so that the skin dries out and hardens a bit.
Fry or microwave bacon, crumble and set aside.

When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. As mentioned above, the scooping is done with an ice cream scoop, leaving behind a little bit of intact potato to form a shell.

To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins.
Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.