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Friday, March 2, 2012

Hungarian Stuffed Peppers: Quick-style

Baked sausage and chard casserole
I love the Frugal Gourmet's Hungarian Stuffed Peppers, but when I was at the store today and saw red bells unexpectedly on sale, I couldn't summon enough wits to remember all the ingredients for that recipe.  And it takes a lot of steps which I just didn't feel like knocking out today.  So I'm borrowing the elements that I think make that recipe distinctive--notably the use of paprika and sauteed parsley--and sliding them into a "regular" stuffed pepper recipe.

Because I just bought ingredients willy-nilly today ::blush::, I wound up with a boatload of filling for 4 peppers.  Which worked out well because it yielded a second bonus dish!  You could also halve the filling recipe to just make 4 peppers, or use all the filling for 8 peppers.

The peppers are freezable and crockpot-able; the bonus casserole is freezable (possibly crockpot-able, too, but someone will have to experiment and report back to me on that one).  By the way, my kids LOVED this casserole, even the one who doesn't like veggies.

Quick and Easy Hungarian Peppers with Bonus Sausage-Chard Casserole
Makes 4 stuffed peppers + 4 servings of casserole, or 8 peppers

4 large red bell peppers (or 8, if not making casserole)
1/4 large onion, chopped
¾ cup parsley, minced
2 tbsp bacon fat
½ tbsp paprika
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
2 cups cooked rice
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups frozen greens (if making casserole)

Slice tops off of peppers and set aside.  Core peppers.  Finely chop pepper tops, onion and parsley. 

Heat bacon fat over medium heat.  Add paprika and saute 1 minute.  Add peppers, onion and parsley and saute 5 minutes, until lightly browned.

Frozen peppers in cake pan for
crockpot fit check
Combine beef, sausage, rice, cooked veg mixture, egg and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Spoon half the filling into the peppers, being sure not to pack too firmly.  Wrap in foil to freeze (I put mine in a disposable 9" cake pan to ensure they'll fit in my crockpot frozen, if I plan to cook them in the crockpot).

To make casserole, spread greens on bottom of 8x8 pan (disposable or metal pan, preferably).  Spread remaining filling on top of greens.  Wrap in foil to freeze.

To cook peppers, thaw.  Put in crockpot with 1/2 cup water, broth, or wine and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.  Alternately, cook covered in oven with 1/2 cup liquid at 350F for 1 hour.  You can put these in the crockpot still frozen if you can make them fit.

To cook casserole quickly, thaw.  Bake at 350F for 1 hour, covered.  Remove foil for last 10 minutes or so of baking to brown.  To cook from frozen, bake at 350F for 2-3 hours until cooked through. Pin It

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