It was my first time making it — my mom makes a Chinese version; she uses bitter melons cut lengthwise, and it’s filled with grounded fish instead… you know, I think Chinese people are so smart because of all that omega-3 fatty acids they eat so much of.
Funny, when I was younger, I was always so ashamed that in our fridge we had only boiled water, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and a live fish that was just gutted by the fish mongers — while my friends had Hamburger Helper for dinner. It’s so crazy how ignorant I was to my own culture and the commericalism of this country; all because the TV always made it seem as if making food that came in packets or out of a box was better; meanwhile my mother cooked with fresh ingredients for every meal. — But I digress!
Recipe below, people!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove and discard the stems, chop up the tops.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Add onions, garlic, and the chopped pepper tops and continue cooking.
I had a zucchini, like, just one zucchini in the fridge; so I chopped that up and threw it into the skillet too. I browsed my fridge to see what other stuff I had in there that I needed to use before it went bad — I chopped up thyme, scallions, cilantro, green olives with pimento, and roasted red peppers — it all went into the pan.
Fill the peppers with the cooked rice (I had leftover rice from the previous dinner), and top each with a sprinkle of shredded cheese (I had a bag left over from when I made chili). Butter on the bottom of the baking dish, drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.