Every time we go to Chipotle, my husband squeezes lemons over his burrito, and I used to think he was really weird. Until I actually tried it. Lemon compliments the spice and aromatic flavors of Tex Mex perfectly. Although the lemon, green onions and cilantro are optional in this dish, they really bring out the flavors of the beef and peppers, and give it a nice tangy zing.
4-6 large bell peppers (it doesn’t matter the color)
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped
1½ cups cooked white rice, prepared in chicken stock
12 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
a few squeezes of a fresh lemon (1-2 tsp)
chopped green onions
Cut the tops off of washed bell peppers. Remove seeds and membranes (I also cut off the edible parts of the pepper tops and add those to my hamburger – waste not, want not, right?). Blanch peppers in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then immerse in an ice bath and let drain on paper towels.
Brown the beef with the onions and spices. Drain grease and add rice, 1 cup tomato sauce, diced bell pepper from the tops and heat until hot. Stuff peppers.
Place stuffed peppers upright in a baking dish (I put mine in ramekins in the baking dish if they don’t stay upright). Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers. Cover and bake in a 350° oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until peppers are soft.
Squeeze lemon juice over the tops and garnish with green onions and fresh cilantro. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.