Memorial Day Grilling: Cajun Stuffed Peppers
Photo by Robb Walsh
Who knew you could cook stuffed peppers on the grill? Just don't get carried away with how much meat you put inside each one. You can make them with plain hamburger if you want, but I like to blend in different ground meats like lamb or breakfast sausage. Season the stuffed peppers heavily. Be sure and cook a little of the meat mixture to test the seasonings before you stuff the peppers, since the salt and spice levels of the various sausage meats and seasoning mixes vary widely.
You can also make these Arab-style by replacing the Tony Chachere's with a kebab seasoning such as Sadaf, available at Phoenicia or any other Middle Eastern grocery store. Be sure and cook the pepper side for quite a while over low coals so they get well done.
Grilled Cajun Stuffed Peppers
2 tablespoons Tony Chachere's or seasoning blend of your choice Half a cup white wine Half pound breakfast sausage Half pound ground beef 1 cup cooked rice 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 egg, beaten Half a cup minced parsley Cayenne pepper to taste Ground cumin to taste Three small green peppers (four lobes preferred)
Mix the seasoning blend and wine and stir well. Then combine this with all the other ingredients except the peppers in a mixing bowl and mash with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Put the meat in the refrigerator for an hour or more to allow the flavors to blend.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and place a teaspoon of the meat mixture in the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently until done on both sides. Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings.
Cut the peppers in half through the stem so that they form six half-pepper cups that sit upright. Fill each half pepper with meat mixture. Mound the meat no more than a half-inch over the top edge of each pepper. The stuffed peppers can be made in advance to this point and stored covered in the refrigerator for several days.
Light the grill. Cook pepper side down over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pepper is charred and soft. Turn the stuffed peppers over and cook on the meat side for 10 minutes. Test for doneness. Serve immediately with your choice of salsas. These are also great cold or cut into slices for sandwiches.
Yield: 6 small stuffed peppers.
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