Skater Lunch Box #21

Mini stuffed peppers, a few boiled potatoes, cucumber slices, some butter in the little chick (for the potatoes), and mango chunks tossed with blueberries.

I felt myself to be really clever to have adapted the technique in America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two for slow cooker stuffed peppers to make these delightful little microwave versions. They cook up super quick and you can stuff them the night before you cook them. But the only real drawback here is that you have to find small bell-style peppers like these. These are an heirloom variety I got from the CSA share my co-worker gave me when she was going out of town.

But if you should be lucky enough to have little peppers, you can do this. Microwave recipes are out of fashion these days, but heaven knows it's too hot to turn on the oven, and honestly, you won't miss out on a thing by micro-cooking these.

Microwave Stuffed Mini-Peppers
Serves: 1-2

1/2 small onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
3-4 small bell-shaped peppers
1 Italian sausage patty or link (if a link, remove the casing) (sweet or hot is fine, depending on your preference)
1/4 cup leftover cooked rice
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Microwave onion, garlic, oil, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened (about 5 minutes).
2. Cut the tops off of each pepper. Chop the pepper tops and discard stems. Remove core and seeds from the pepper shells. Use a small, sharp knife to make tiny holes in the bottoms of the peppers (about 3-4 holes per pepper).
3. In a bowl, mix onion mixture, chopped pepper tops, Italian sausage, leftover rice, cheeses, and salt and pepper with your hands. Pack this into the prepared pepper shells. You can mold them into rounds over the pepper tops if you have too much of this mixture. If you are making these ahead of time, stop here and refrigerate prepared peppers.
4. Set peppers over water in a microwave vegetable steamer. Open vent.
5. Microwave on high for about 10-15 minutes, or until peppers are tender and the meat is cooked through. If desired, sprinkle with more Parmesan before serving.


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