Smoky Bacon Stuffed Peppers
2 large red bell peppers, halved along their length, seeds and ribs removed
1 C short-grained rice
4 oz North Country Smokehouse bacon, diced
2 scallions, white and green parts, cut into rings
½ white onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced or grated on a Microplane grater
2 C, chicken or vegetable stock (or water), divided.
1 pinch saffron (optional, or use 1/8th tsp turmeric for color)
1 TBSP Olive oil
1 oz Provolone cheese cut into small pieces
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drizzle the pepper halves with oil and place them on a baking pan in the oven to soften while you prepare the rice. Once your rice is cooked, remove the peppers from the oven and place the peppers and the rice to the side while you prepare your filling.
- In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and place to the side. Pour off all but 1 TBS of rendered bacon fat, leaving it in the saute’ pan and adding the onions and scallions, then saute’ all until translucent. Add your garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
4 Add the fully cooked rice to the saute’ pan and toss to coat the rice evenly. Add 1.5 C water, chicken stock (or vegetable stock if preferred), along with the optional saffron or turmeric. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but not mushy (roughly 20 minutes).
- Once the rice is cooked, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and fold in chopped provolone and ½ of the cooked bacon.
- Fill your pepper halves with rice mixture and top with grated Parmesan cheese to taste. Drizzle stuffed peppers with olive oil.
- Return peppers to the oven and bake until the peppers are very tender and the cheeses have melted and browned on top.