Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 4 medium green bell peppers
- 8 ounces ground pork sausage
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Essence, plus more for seasoning, recipe follows
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions, green part only
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the top quarter of each bell pepper and reserve. Scoop the seeds and veins out from the inside of each pepper and discard. Set bell pepper shells aside. Remove and discard the stems from each bell pepper top. Dice enough of the bell pepper tops to make 1/2 cup. Set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, crumble and brown the sausage until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, and the celery. Saute for 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and Essence. Cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions and parsley. Season the insides of the bell pepper shells with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the rice mixture into the bell peppers.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and cheese. Season with a pinch of Essence and mix well. Sprinkle the crust over each pepper. Top each crust with 1 teaspoon of butter and place the peppers into an 8-inch baking dish or pan. Add just enough water to cover the bottom, about 1/3 cup. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are crusty and brown and warmed through. Serve hot.Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, Published by William and Morrow, 1993.