Pepper Recipes

Beth Asaff
rice stuffed peppers

Pepper recipes are as abundant as there are types of peppers: green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown and even white. What many chefs don't realize, however, is that they are all the same fruit - a variation of capsicum plant. From salsas to salads to soups to stews, peppers recipes are tasty and healthy additions to many recipes and side dishes.

Variations of Bell Peppers

The different shades of bell pepper color indicate the ripeness of the fruit and its harvesting conditions. Green peppers are the least ripe, and they have a more bitter taste than their colorful cousins. Many people avoid peppers, mistakenly believing all bell peppers have a hot, bitter taste. In truth, however, the longer the fruit ripens in the sun, the sweeter the taste. Peppers can be used in a wide variety of delicious recipes, including stuffed and stewed entrees or side dishes, and as a colorful accompaniment to other dishes such as salads or stir fry. Peppers are also a healthy addition to most meals since they are high in vitamins C and A.

Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Use any color of bell pepper for this recipe. Green peppers do stay firmer than red, yellow or orange peppers do, but the sweeter taste of one of the other colors may be more palatable to some people new to eating peppers. Select a pepper that is short but wide to help it balance, while also holding the maximum amount of stuffing.

Ingredients

Jalapeno pepper jelly
  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds and ribs from the inside. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Sauté gently for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the ground pork and continue cooking until the meat is browned through.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste, rice and spices.
  5. Spoon the pork mixture into the peppers. It is OK to round the mixture up out of the peppers slightly.
  6. Set the peppers on a baking sheet and place them in an oven heated to 375 degrees.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.

Hot Peppers

There are nearly as many variations of hot peppers as there are of the sweeter, bell variety. Some are mild, like banana peppers, while others, like the ghost pepper, are extremely hot.

Hot peppers can be added to salsas, sauces, jams and jellies, stews, salads or anything else you want to give a little kick. Hot peppers also combine well with bell peppers in dishes such as chili, where the hot and sweet combine to add depth to the dish.

Jalapeño Jelly Recipe

This pepper recipe uses both spicy jalapeño peppers and mild bell peppers. The final taste is sweet, however, with only a mild spice as a finish on the back of the tongue.

Ingredients

  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 12 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces liquid pectin

Instructions

  1. Remove the tops and seeds of the peppers and place into a food processor.
  2. Pulse until finely minced.
  3. Place the peppers and the vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and discard the pulp.
  6. Return the liquid to the saucepan and add the salt and sugar.
  7. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for one minute and stir in the liquid pectin.
  8. Pour the mixture into two 8-ounce jelly jars and seal in a tub of hot water.
  9. Refrigerate after the seal on the jars is broken.

Add Color and Flavor to Your Meals

When cooking peppers, choose the brightest, most colorful fruits for a stunning presentation. Fresh peppers in good condition should have smooth, firm skin without bruising or discoloration. Consider adding diced peppers to bland dishes for a surprising flavor. They also make excellent additions to salsa, steak, shish kebobs, meat loaf and soups. Ground up peppers can be added to many recipes to avoid the criticism of finicky eaters as well. To avoid overcooking the fruit, cut slices thin before grilling or sautéing - longer cooking may dull the color and reduce the visual impact of the fruit.

Pepper Recipes