TEX MEX STUFFED CAPS
If you are throwing a party, make these bad boys because they are a serious crowd pleaser and couldn’t be easier to serve up. All you have to do is serve the dish to the table and let the guests get involved. It's a wonderful way to serve up, as you can watch on as everyone passes the accompaniments round to each other smiling and laughing.
For some reason people rarely make these, who knows why? I love making these because they are so easy to prepare in advance. If you are pressed for time during the week, prep up a few of these on a Sunday and you will have a couple of lunches or dinners in the bag, as they hold up to five days in the fridge once cooked and reheat very well.
Please don't be scared to try these; its literally frying some beef mince, mixing with cooked rice, stuffing them, and then roasting them in the oven. And when you bring them out to the table, they are a real showstopper. Basically, people will think you are a very skilled cook when the truth is, it's super easy.
Stuffed capsicums were very popular in restaurants in the early 90s because of their wonderful ability to be made in advance and reheated. I must have made thousands of these and you could pretty much guarantee if you were a vegetarian at a decent wedding reception you would have been served a stuffed capsicum.
You can just use a plain old long grain rice, because risotto, wild rices and sushi rice will not work too well. You can, if you are in a pickle, substitute some basmati if that’s all you have in the cupboard at the time, but be aware basmati rice is much more fragrant. Another wonderful thing about this dish is it's relatively low in calories, without the extras such as the sour cream or too much cheese that is.
When you are selecting your capsicums go big! This filling is enough for five large capsicums - you want them to be at least 12cm long. You can let your imagination run wild once you get the hang of these as there are plenty of variations you can switch up with different flavoursome fillings; or you can stuff eggplants, zucchini and even mushrooms.
PREP TIME: 20 mins
COOKING TIME: 1 1/2 hrs
5 capsicums, large about 12cm/4.5" tall
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped (brown, white, yellow)
3 garlic cloves, minced
350g beef mince (optional)
2-3 tbsps CREOLE (to taste)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/4 cups (315 ml) chicken stock (cubes are fine),
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 cup corn kernels
1 1/2 cups (150g) mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup (125ml) water
2-3 tbsps sour cream
1 ripe avocado or guacamole
Preheat oven to 180°C .
Chop capsicums in half and take out the seeds then place in a baking dish (alternatively slice the tops of and stand up capsicums ).
For the filling. Heat oil in a large casserole dish over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant.
Add beef bit by bit and cook, breaking it up as you go, don't crowd the pan and make sure it is frying.
Add CREOLE and stir through. Then add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add rice, corn and chicken broth. Stir, bring to simmer, place lid on and set heat to low. Do not stir!
Now cook for 13 to 15 minutes until rice is JUST cooked - mixture should be fairly loose still at this stage, not thick and stodgy
Spoon half the filling into the prepared capsicums. Top with half the cheese and pour 1/2 cup water into the pan.
Cover tightly with foil, bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil and capsicum lids. Top with remaining cheese. Bake further 5 to 10 minutes, just until cheese is melted.
Set the party table with bowls for guests to self-serve 'Tex Mex style' toppings and load up their stuffed caps with sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños and extra beefy goodness.