Thursday, June 03, 2010

Southwestern Turkey and Corn Stuffed Peppers

I hate to throw food away. Especially produce. So, every so often, I find myself confronted with a pile of soon-to-be-bad veggies. And I get to come up with dishes like this one. Inspired by recipes I've run across before and the home-cooking my mom fixed when I was growing up, I put red bell peppers, fresh corn and a few other handy ingredients to work. The results were delicious.

How delicious? So yummy that we ate them up before I remembered to take a evidenced by the empty baking dish to the left.

(This is a forgiving recipe so feel free to adjust spices and other ingredient quantities as you see fit.)

Southwestern Turkey and Corn Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4.

4 bell peppers (I prefer red for their sweetness.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground turkey
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Pinch crushed red pepper
Salt and garlic pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, divided use

Trim the top quarter of the bell peppers off and scoop out the seeds and ribs. Finely dice any of the usable (i.e. non-stem) pepper tops and set aside.

Combine bread crumbs and 1/2 cup cheese and set aside. This is the topping for the stuffed peppers.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add any diced pepper and cook for 2 additional minute. Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink, about five minutes. (As you cook the turkey, use your spatula to break it into smaller chunks.)

Add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and spices and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3 minutes and taste for seasoning. Season to taste with salt and garlic pepper.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon filling into bell pepper shells. (You're probably going to end up with extra filling. Save it as burrito filling for lunch tomorrow, you lucky devil.) Top with breadcrumb/cheese mixture.

Place peppers into a baking dish and cook in pre-heated 350° oven until filling is heated through and topping is browned and cheese melted.

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