I’ve never made stuffed peppers before, but the idea has always fascinated me. A whole balanced meal wrapped up in one tidy package. It’s genius. There are hundreds of traditional varieties across as many cultures, but this recipe appears to be influenced mostly by the Eastern European recipes. Good Housekeeping (1955 Edition) has labeled it “Creole”, so I will just have to trust their culinary judgement.
I’m sure someone has noticed that this is yet another new cookbook! My fiancé happened upon an estate sale several weeks ago and this book was among his findings! He’s the greatest!
A moment of praise: I haven’t had many stuffed peppers in my life but I thought these were excellent! They were flavorful, the pepper was still a little bit crunchy without being undercooked, and the sauce was divine. The sauce made the dish. So good.
Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients. It’s really not a difficult recipe to pull together, but this is one of those recipes that you need to read all the way through before starting or it will take longer than necessary.
Creole Stuffed Peppers*
Good Housekeeping 1955 Edition
4 green bell peppers
1 cup boiling water
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 lb ground beef (I used sirloin)
¼ cup minced celery
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup minced green peppers* (or cooked rice)
1 egg, unbeaten
½ cup light cream or undiluted evaporated milk*
1 No. 2 can tomatoes (2 ½ cups) (I used diced, fire-roasted)
¼ cup minced onion
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
6 whole cloves
1 tablespoon flour
¼ cup cold water
Wash green bell peppers. Carefully cut out the stem of each and remove the seeds and that white stuff. I don’t know what that part is called and you can leave it in there if you want, but I wanted to make room for as much stuffing as possible. Be careful not to split your bell peppers when removing the innards. Boil peppers in boiling water with 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, tightly covered, 5 minutes. I forgot to cover mine and they were fine.
Meanwhile, combine meat and all ingredients listed under “Stuffing”. Drain boiled peppers; stuff with meat mixture. Place in an 8”x8” baking dish (or if you are making two, place in a pyrex loaf pan).
Start heating oven to 350°. In saucepan, combine all ingredients under “Sauce” through cloves. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes; then strain reserving liquid. This is where Good Housekeeping’s recipe gets a little vague, so I am giving you my interpretation. Stir flour and cold water until smooth; add to strained liquid; cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Pick out cloves from tomato mixture. Place tomato mixture around peppers in dish. Pour the strained liquid over and around tomatoes. If you have too much remaining like I did, set it to the side for serving.
Bake uncovered 45 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Mine were very large so they took closer to 1 hour 15 minutes.
*A note on my substitutions: I substituted a generous ¼ cup cooked white rice for the green peppers. Don’t you get enough of that on the outside? I also have this vague memory of stuffed peppers in my childhood and they definitely had rice. I’m sure Good Housekeeping will understand. I also substituted ¼ cup heavy cream + ¼ cup whole milk for the ½ cup light cream. Honestly who keeps light cream on hand?
I made the full stuffing and sauce recipe but only made two stuffed peppers. I packed my two peppers to the brim and there was only enough meat left for one more medium sized pepper. If you tried to make this full recipe with four large bell peppers, you would be disappointed and I have a zero disappointment tolerance policy here at American Heritage Cooking. I would either make 1.5 times the recipe for four large bell peppers or use small to medium peppers. Your call.
What did I do with the remaining stuffing you might ask? I made an impromptu meatloaf for lunch tomorrow. I didn’t plan that far ahead and was looking at the left over stuffing and it was just a few cracker crumbs short of meatloaf! Witness: Magic in the kitchen!
It actually made a delicious meatloaf. I added ¼ finely ground homemade potato breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt and ~1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper. I placed the mixture in a miniature loaf pan, spooned some of the tomato mixture and the reserved sauce over the top and baked it in the oven with the stuffed peppers until a meat thermometer read 170°. It only took 20 minutes!