Treats Not Tricks: Stuffed Jack Peppers
Looking for a spooky, tasty treat to feed a house full of monsters this Halloween? Create a spooktacular feast for All Hallow's Eve with Christy Kate McKenzie's Stuffed Jack Peppers...
This really is the most wonderful time of the year if you ask me. Y'all can keep December and Christmas, give me Halloween and a beautiful October any day!
I have always said there is something so magical about autumn that it is difficult to put into words, but for me the year really begins in September (my birth month and the month of Back to School stationery sales!) and there is nothing more beautiful than a crisp October night. Add to that the mystery and adrenaline fueled freakishness of All Hallows Eve and I am hooked.
We are having friends over for trick or treating this year, since not many neighbourhoods in the UK celebrate Halloween the way ours does, so that means some spooky treats for the little ones—mummy hot dogs, witch’s brew punch, mini pumpkin treats… But, let’s not forget about us grown-ups.
Back in 2010, a certain little dead pirate was eager to go out looking for some Halloween treasure, but first I had cooked up a scary feast. (Back in those days he was willing to try anything, not so much now that he’s 10.) Dad and I had decided that stuffed peppers would be a nice way to fill up before a chilly trek around the neighbourhood, so I started early in the day. What I didn’t tell wither of my boys was that I had bought orange bell peppers to carve into Jack o’ Lanterns and then smother in tomato sauce thick as blood…
It wasn’t as difficult as I had expected, in fact you could make them ahead of time (which I am planning to do this year) and leave it until All Hallow’s Eve to bake them. And that year, they please both of my boys. This year I have a little witch… skeleton… or who knows what she will decide on to feed plus a couple of friends, so I will be making the mummy dogs, etc. for them and the peppers for the grown-ups.
If you’d like to try your hand at making Stuffed Jack Peppers this year, take a look at the recipe below. Happy Haunting!
Stuffed Jack Peppers
Feeds 3-4 Grown-Ups and maybe a few monsters
½ lb pork mince and ½ lb beef mince
6 large orange bell peppers
2 c cooked brown rice
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
½ onion, diced
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
1 T minced garlic
2 T Italian seasoning
¾ t salt
1/3 t ground black pepper
½ t red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cut the tops off of your orange peppers, clean the seeds out of them, and carve jack o’ lantern faces in each.
Place prepared peppers in boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until just tender, then remove and drain on paper towels.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the onions. When the onions begin to turn clear, add the chopped green pepper and continue to cook until the onions are browning and the peppers have softened.
Add the beef and pork mince and brown the mince, breaking up any clumps of meat. Drain any excess fat then add the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flake. Mix well.
Add the cooked rice and the canned tomatoes and stir until well combined.
Remove from heat.
Place the 6 orange peppers, without their tops, into a baking pan and stuff each with the rice and meat mixture.
Pour the spaghetti sauce over the peppers and around them in the baking dish, then place each pepper’s top back on it. If you have any additional rice and meat mixture, pack it into the baking dish around the peppers.
Bake the peppers until they are tender and the filling is heated through, stopping once halfway through to baste them in the sauce and juices. They should take roughly 20 minutes to bake.
Remove from the oven and dish 2 peppers onto each plate, plus additional rice and meat (if there is any). Baste one last time with sauce and juices.
Christy is an aspiring author, fairy tale fanatic, peanut butter connoisseur, and wannabe mermaid. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.