This Guy I Know* wanted to make stuffed peppers one night for dinner, so we usually split responsibilities and I decided to take on corn chowder to go with the peppers. Each of these dishes really could be a meal on their own, but my eyes are usually bigger than my stomach, so it is no surprise that I tend to overcook as well.
Pick out 3-4 red bell peppers, you want them to be able to sit with a flat bottom in a casserole dish. Blanch the peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes to make the cooking time in the oven faster.
Brown ground beef with onions until cooked through. At the same time, begin cooking a rice of your choice, we used white rice, but Zatarainsdirty rice would be good too. Once the beef browns, add a small can of tomato sauce and season to taste. We mixed in taco seasoning, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes and S&P. Mix together rice, ground beef mixture and shredded cheese, we used Helluva Good Monterey Jack with Jalapenos, which really is helluva good. Mix most of your cheese in the rice mixture, but save some for to top off the peppers.
We used a casserole dish to help the peppers stand up, stuff them full of your rice mixture and then top off with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 60 mins at 350 degrees.
I am obsessed with soup, so eventhough we made this dinner in the middle of July, when it was more than 90 degrees out, I couldn’t help but make a soup to go with these peppers. Corn has always been a favorite, especially since a fun college tradition of corn fest! But This Guy that I Know always says that I can screw up a soup, but whenever you make something for the first time, there is always the nerves of serving something that tastes terrible to This Guy I Know.
Fry up a packet of bacon, cut into bite size pieces in a pot. Remove the bacon, but leave the grease, it is great for cooking the veggies in! Saute onion, green pepper and garlic until cooked through. Add 2 tablespoons flour to the veggies and bacon grease and make a roux, cook until the flour cooks off. Add 2 cups chicken stock and one 16 oz bag of frozen corn. In a separate pot, boil water and potatoes, boil until cooked through, then dice into bite size pieces and put into the chowder.
I like a chowder to be like a chowder, so in my book that means it needs to be thick and cheesy. This is where I start to throw random things in the pot until it tastes/looks the way I want it too.
I threw in a can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup, a can of creamed corn, diced jalapenos, diced roasted red peppers and 1/4 of a stick of Velveeta. For seasoning, I mixed in S&P, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning (I love Tony’s) and crushed red pepper flakes.
When a soup is not thick enough or cheesy enough, Velveeta always makes it better. Another trick to thickening soups is one I learned from a family friend, she mixes 1 part flour into 2 parts water in a tupperware and then whisks in to soup while it is boiling.
At the last minute, I mix in most of the bacon and then serve the soup topped with more bacon.
This meal was one of the best we have made, it took a little longer than usual on a weeknight (total prep-cook time was about 1 hour and a 1/2), but it was worth it! These peppers were to die for and you could take this recipe and add anything you like and not screw this one up. The soup was creamy and I spiced it up to have an extra kick to compliment the peppers. Enjoy!
*Editor’s Note: Most of my cooking is done with the same guy, I offered him an alias name and the best/appropriate for public use was “This Guy I Know”. If/when he comes up with a new alias, you will be the first to know.