Here's a mash-up that uses the spices from "Tacos from Scratch" and coverts the "Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers" to a dish from south of the border. The orzo pasta is replaced by rice (and if you are feeling lazy like me, I just use Uncle Ben's precooked Ready Rice to save me an extra 30 minutes of cooking).
I will admit that this is an elaborate recipe....mostly because a lot of the work goes into getting the seasoning of the ground beef to be absolutely authentic and astounding. If authentic and astounding are not your jam, you can make the recipe a lot easier by omitting the spices in the beef prep part and substitute a packet of taco seasoning. If you were making this for young kids, that is acceptable. But if you are an adult and like drinking adult beverages with your meals, go for authentic and astounding.
As I noted with the Italian version of this recipe, this is meant to be served as an entree. So when you go to the grocery store, check out the green, red and yellow bell peppers. You want to buy the biggest, honkin' peppers they have, regardless of color. It's time to run with the big dogs.
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and then submerge bell peppers. Cook until peppers just begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove peppers from pot, drain off excess water, and place peppers cut-sides up on paper towels.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350º.
- Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, spices and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl with the rice; stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place peppers cut-side up in 9-inch square baking dish. Using soup spoon, divide filling evenly among peppers. Top with sliced jalapeños and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.