(Hungarian stuffed peppers)
Stuffed peppers are a favorite dish in Hungary, simple and homey. The practice of stuffing vegetables actually originated with the Turks. But after years of domination by the Ottomans, Hungarians adopted töltött paprika as their own.
4 to 6 servings
- Large bell peppers -- 6
- Ground beef -- 1/2 pound
- Ground pork -- 1/2 pound
- Uncooked rice -- 1/2 cup
- Onions, finely chopped -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 2 to 3 cloves
- Parsley, chopped -- 3 tablespoons
- Hungarian paprika -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Eggs, beaten -- 2
- Tomato sauce -- 1 cup
- Sugar -- 1 teaspoon
- Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds and white membrane. Remove and discard the stems from the tops and chop the tops finely.
- Add the chopped pepper tops to a large bowl, along with the beef, pork, rice, onions, garlic, parsley, paprika, salt, pepper and eggs. Mix together well.
- Stuff each pepper loosely with some of the meat mixture. Leave a little room for the stuffing to grow as the rice will swell as it cooks. If you have any meat left over, form it into meatballs.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a casserole dish large enough to hold the peppers standing up. Place the peppers in the dish along with any meatballs. Mix together the tomato sauce and sugar and pour it over the peppers.
- Cover the casserole tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the stuffing is cooked through.
- Place a dollop of sour cream on each stuffed pepper and serve hot.
- Use Hungarian peppers instead of bell peppers. They are more thinly skinned and may not need to cook as long.
- Add some chopped bacon to the meat mixture.
- Sometimes the rice is partially cooked before it is added to the meat mixture. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the rice. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Add to the meat mixture.