Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two Cheese Stuffed Banana Peppers with Chipotle Chili Sauce served over Rice


Yes, I agree there's a lot happening on this plate.  But it's such a great blend of flavors, please don't be overwhelmed thinking that's too much assemble.  The bottom layer of rice is a store bought package of yellow Mexican seasoned rice that cooks in about 20 minutes.  So nothing much to worry about there.

The banana peppers are a cinch to make.  It will take a little bit of time to brown the ground chuck and vegetables for the chili sauce, but it's well worth the 30 minutes or so prep time.

Let's make the chipotle chili sauce first:  (And yes, we will have a Round Two meal from the leftovers!)

2 pounds ground chuck
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
2 t. minced garlic
1 jar Tostitos Chipotle Salsa
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 can of Del Monte Petite Cut Chipotle Chilie Tomatoes
11 oz. white shoe peg corn, drained
15 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown ground chuck with onion and bell peppers. When meat is browned and vegetables are softened, drain and then add garlic. Let cook for 1 - 2 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low.  Let chili sauce simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the chili sauce cooks, let's stuff the banana peppers.  I used the last picking of peppers from the garden.  Feel free to use poblanos or jalapenos.  

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 T. olive oil.  Cut off the stem end of the peppers and carefully remove as much of the membrane and seeds as you can.  Place the peppers in the warm oil and using tongs to turn them over, let them cook until softened, about 8 - 10 minutes.  If the peppers begin to brown too much, reduce heat lower.  Remove from heat and let cool until they're cool enough to handle.

While the pepper are cooling, prepare the cheese filling:
6 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1/4 t. granulated garlic
dash of salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.  This was the perfect amount to stuff 10 medium sized banana peppers.  If you have more or less peppers, you'll need to adjust the amount of cheese you use.

Remove the chili sauce from the heat and carefully pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Carefully spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper and place on top of chili sauce.  Bake for 35 - 40 minutes at 325 degrees.  

Serve over rice and top with chopped cilantro and/or sour cream.

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