The chill in the air has turned my thoughts to good, old-fashioned comfort food... with a twist:
Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers
2 Large or 3 medium red bell peppers
2 Cups cooked rice
1 Lb. lean ground beef
1-2 Tsps. minced garlic (I use the jarred stuff)
1 Med. yellow onion, diced
1/2 Can pinto beans,* rinsed and drained
1/2 Can niblet corn,* drained or 1 Cup frozen niblet corn, thawed
1 Jar Pace picante sauce (I like medium or hot, but your choice of heat)
1 Bag Kraft Mexican-style 4 cheese, shredded
Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Slice bell peppers lengthwise, seed and core. When water is boiling, drop in bell pepper sections. Allow to boil 1 minute, then drain and rinse in cold water.
In a skillet, saute the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Add salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. When beef is browned and onions are glassy, drain and transfer mixture to a large, heat-resistant bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To beef mixture stir in cooked rice, pinto beans and corn.
Spray a 9"X13" baking dish with cooking spray.
Arrange bell pepper halves in the bottom of baking dish. Spoon beef/rice mixture into bell pepper halves, spreading any leftover mixture throughout baking dish. Top with picante sauce. Bake for 45 minutes.
Sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and bubbles.
*So as not to be wasteful, I usually layer the leftover beans and corn with diced peppers, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomato, black olive, guacamole and more shredded cheese and serve as a dip with tortilla chips. For extra zip, use Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing instead of sour cream.
P.S. -- This is wonderful the first time around and outstanding as leftovers!