Pretty Darn Good Stuffed Banana Peppers (and Acorn Squash)

Gentle Reader: While my maiden voyage into Stuffed Banana Peppers turned out well, I think it was due in part to the straight and gentle taper of the beauties I bought at the Farmer’s Market. I think that I would not have done as well with some of the wiry and twisted samples I’ve seen since.

I cut the peppers in half, cleaned out the seeds and stuffed them loosely with a mixture of ground beef (in western North Dakota that can only mean Angus), chopped onion, grated white cheddar cheese, KS&FGP (kosher salt and fresh ground pepper), and a pinch of garlic powder. I say stuff loosely because if the mixture is packed too tight, it does not cook completelty through before the outside is overdone and the stuffing tends to be hard as a rock. Baked at 350 for about 45 minutes. I also basted them with their own juices once while cooking and before serving. If you are keeping any as leftovers, be sure to save those precious juices.

I feasted on these and sent a couple next door to Joan Alice where they were a hit as well.   The banana peppers were tangy and sweet–less acidic than red bell peppers and I would say have a brighter flavor. I’ll make this again and again. It was rich, satisfying and definately a comfort food. When I say something is “lick the dish good,” I do mean lick the dish and there are many a picture to prove it.

As a side note, I also use a similar mixture (minus the cheese) in my Stuffed Acorn Squash: Cut an acorn squash in half from stem to blossom end, scoop out and discard the strings and seeds, brush the squash with olive oil, sprinkle with KS&FGP. I like to bake these face down for about 15 minutes before stuffing and finishing off in the oven at 350 degrees.—usually an hour total time. Why not add the cheese? I guess because the squash is already so rich, the stuffing needs to be less rich as a counter-point to offset all the natural sugars.

Author: Bonnie Larson Staiger

Winner 'Voices of the Plains and Prairies Poetry Award' by NDSU Press. My chapbook, 'Destiny Manifested' is scheduled for release Nov 4, 2018. Fascinated with the fusion of the written word on the printed page. On my blog, North Dakota Roots, I share poetry and observations about life.

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