I simply love Super Bowl Sunday, each and every aspect of it. I love it particularly when my team is not involved, so I can actually sit back and enjoy the game without any sort of agita whatsoever. That would be this year! (I have to find a silver lining in every dark cloud, right?)
I love the All-American-ness of the Super Bowl tradition, complete with the commercials,the pomp and circumstance of The Star Spangled Banner, and all of the entertainment. Most of all, though, I love the FOOD: wings, chili, nachos, dips, sliders and pizza, all washed down with wonderful concoctions of themed cocktails and cold beer. Of course, most of these things are not exactly health food – which is probably the reason everything tastes SOOOO good on this day!
Alas, I’m still trying to be good (food wise) this Super Bowl, so I’ve been trying out party recipes that lean towards the healthy side but are still delicious, and was delighted to find that I had hit a winner: mini bell peppers stuffed with a tasty mixture comprised mostly of ground turkey breast.
Mini bell peppers are relatively new to me. I first spotted these gorgeous veggies in my local supermarket early last fall, and eventually picked up a bag. I found them to be really versatile – they are wonderful in salads, terrific seeded and roasted, and are great in frittatas – so they’ve become a staple in my fridge. They keep a while, too, so that’s another plus.
Since I’m posting this hours before today’s kick-off, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pull this together before game time, but it’s still a “keeper” that you might want to file away for your next cocktail party or get-together. Trust me, these will definitely be on my list, since once the peppers have cooked through, they can be kept warm in a 200⁰ oven for a long time without drying out. This means their designated serving plate on the buffet table can be easily replenished, keeping both host and guests happy.
Mini Bell Peppers Stuffed with Turkey
• 1 bag mini bell peppers (approximately16 ounces)
• 1 pound all-breast ground turkey meat
• 1 small onion, grated
• 2-3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
• 1 large egg
• 1/3 cup grated cheese (I prefer Romano, but Parmesan is good as well)
• ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• Salt and pepper
• 1 cup tomato sauce (canned is fine)
Preheat your oven to 375⁰.
Line a sheet pan with crinkled aluminum foil. (The crinkles in the foil will balance the peppers on the pan so they will not roll around while baking.)
Rinse and dry the peppers. Cut off the top of each pepper and discard. Lay the peppers on their sides and cut off the top third of each pepper; reserve for another use (my vote is for a frittata!). Clean and seed each pepper and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the turkey meat, onion, garlic, egg, grated cheese, bread crumbs, and parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper and mix everything together (I find that clean hands do this job nicely). Note that once combined, the mixture will seem slightly wet.
Using a tablespoon, gently fill each pepper with the turkey mixture and place the filled peppers on the foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all peppers are filled – you should have roughly 50 peppers.
Top each pepper with a scant teaspoon of tomato paste. Note that the peppers do not have to be completely covered with the tomato sauce: because of the size of the peppers and the flavor of the stuffing, a little sauce goes a long way in giving each pepper just the right compliment.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. (Remember, this is poultry and needs to be cooked through.)
Arrange the peppers on serving plate and serve hot or warm at room temperature.
This recipe yields about 50 hors d’oeuvres.