Friday, March 23, 2012

Stuffed Banana Peppers

The above is a picture of some of the peppers we grew last year, including banana peppers, pictured on the left. We had a bumper crop of peppers last summer and I wanted to be able to make something besides pickled peppers. I found this recipe on the web and modified it some for our tastes. Bob loved this. I was afraid it would be too hot, but it was not hot, and it was really tasty. There are a lot of ingredients, but don't let that deter you from making these as they are easy to prepare, can be put together in about a half hour and then baked. This is a nice dish to take to a pot luck, tail gate party, or to serve for guests as an appetizer. I froze half of these and we ate half of them. They freeze well for up to 2 months. These could be made into an entree if you added a salad and some crusty bread. These are delicious!!! And I am usually not crazy about peppers or Italian sausage, but I liked them.

Stuffed Banana Peppers

8 Banana peppers
2 Tbls. butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 egg
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
1- 28 ounce can tomato puree'
1- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp real sea salt (pink kind)
1/4 tsp pepper

Cut off tops of peppers, and remove ribs and seeds. Chop edible portions of tops and measure out 1/4 to 1/2 cup of peppers; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peppers, reduce heat, and simmer until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.            
Heat butter in a medium skillet. Saute reserved chopped pepper, onion and celery until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and garlic. Season with basil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan. Mix in hot sausage, mild sausage, bread crumbs and 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture.              
Using a piping bag or sausage stuffer, fill each pepper with the meat mixture. Place in a 3 quart casserole dish, and pour remaining tomato sauce mixture over peppers.               
Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.               

Tips: You can double this recipe for a larger crowd.
          These freeze well.
          Mushrooms could be added, if you like them.
          I just use a spoon to stuff the meat into the peppers.

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