Everything is broken except my bones. Among other things, the internet connection at my home is on the fritz. Three people have tried to fix it in as many days, and no dice. So tonight I’m posting live from my local coffee shop to bring you these Cajun-style meatloaf stuffed peppers two days after the revelry that is Mardi Gras.
Given the state of affairs in this beautiful but damn imperfect world we live in, my lack of internet is not a big deal. It’s inconvenient and trying, but not earth-shattering by any means.
Practically everything I do relies on the internet. This makes me wonder, what the heck was I doing 15 years ago? I mean really, how did the world work? I vaguely remember getting letters from my grandparents delivered in the mail, so I guess that’s how we communicated. But goodness, how did I shop and entertain myself?
I would love to say a lack of working internet connection in my home gives me a greater appreciation for things, but if it does, it is so incremental that I do not notice it. The fact of the matter is I am accustomed to connecting with whatever I want whenever I want. I expect hot, clean water coming out of my tap and appliances that wash and dry my dishes and laundry and heat and cool my food. I am so damn spoiled, and I rarely appreciate it.
So let us appreciate the food today. The food we all need to nourish us. The food that, for the privileged like us, is not just nourishment but a true source of enjoyment. How lucky we are.
All my life I have enjoyed stuffed peppers with meat and rice. Encountering this stuffed pepper recipe that is basically a meatball in a pepper shell rocked my world. Other than the Tabasco, I am not so sure what is Cajun about them, but pay that no mind. They are delicious.
Two nuances I find worth mentioning here are the baking dishes held quite a bit of liquid by the time the peppers were fully baked, and even though I cooked with lean meat, the bottoms of the dishes seemed overly greasy. Just a heads up.
Serve the peppers alone or with a side of rice. If you want to go Cajun-crazy, this Cajun rice recipe would be a good choice. If stuffed peppers are not your favorite, you can still enjoy the meatloaf portion of the recipe or make the mixture into meatballs. It really does not matter how you enjoy this food, so as long as you appreciate it as you do. Enjoy!
- 8 (or 9) bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 small to medium yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup ketchup, plus additional for topping the peppers once stuffed
- 1 pound ground meat of your choice: beef, turkey, or chicken
- ½ pound spicy ground sausage
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Core the eight peppers and cut them in half to serve as shells for the meatloaf. Place the pepper shells in a lightly oiled baking dish (I used two 8 x 8 dishes; my 13 x 9 pan was too small). If you have an extra bell pepper or half bell pepper on hand, go ahead and dice it to add to the meatloaf mixture. You will want ½ cup of diced pepper. Set peppers aside.
- Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion, and if using, the diced bell pepper. Saute until tender, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, cumin, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Once the sauces and spices are well incorporated, turn heat to low and stir in the ketchup. Allow to simmer for about five minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the meat, sausage and lightly beaten eggs to the skillet.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared pepper shells and top with a dollop of ketchup spread across the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. The meat loaves will be golden brown on top, and the peppers will be soft.