Baked Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Baked Sausage Stuffed Peppers -- A Pinch of Joy
Baked Sausage Stuffed Peppers from A Pinch of Joy

 I like this recipe because it does not have tomato sauce – just the flavors of meat, vegetables and cheese.   This recipe is also versatile.  It was 11 degrees out the day I made this.  No way was I setting myself in that cold car so I used what I had on hand –  sausage, Birds Eye Wild Rice (microwave in the bag mix with broccoli and carrots) and Colby Jack cheese. Using sausage eliminates the need for other seasoning, but you can also add your own seasonings to ground beef.  For us that would be salt and pepper , maybe a bit of minced garlic.  You can see that sausage is a flavor boost for our household!   (Sad isn’t it?? I’m working on it!)  I’ve not used the wild rice mixture before but the mixture did just fine and we had the benefit of the bits of vegetables it contains.  The mozzarella cheese is the meltiest, the parmesan most flavorful, but Colby Jack pulled its own flavor weight too!   I also usually eat a couple of the pepper  caps while I’m cooking because I love fresh crisp pepper.  They don’t get diced and added to the mix and that doesn’t seem to throw the recipe off.  But then again, I’ve never made it with all four caps so how would I know?  Red and yellow bell peppers have a very different flavor than green bell peppers. The red ones especially are much sweeter. Any bell pepper can be used for this recipe; use the type you like the best.

A nice warm comfort dish – even if it is not snowy and cold.   Add a salad, maybe a hard roll with butter, and enjoy!



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Baked Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Serving Size: 1 pepper

Baked Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 large green bell peppers
  • 1 C brown rice, cooked
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese, parmesan, mozzarella or Colby jack
  • PLUS ¼ cup of additional cheese for top of peppers
  • Ground pepper or paprika for top of peppers

Instructions

  1. 1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. 2. Prepare green peppers by washing and trimming the bottom so they will set flat. Slice off the top where it curves to the pepper side. Remove core, seeds and white pith. Place in crockpot.
  3. 3. Dice onion and tops and bottoms of peppers.
  4. 4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in medium skillet and sauté onions and peppers until onions are limp but not browned. Set aside.
  5. 5. Brown meat in skillet, until just cooked. Remove from heat.
  6. 6. Add all other ingredients to skillet, cheese last.
  7. 7. Scoop into peppers, about one cup of filling per pepper.
  8. 8. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes until peppers soften and can be pierced with a fork.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2013/11/baked-sausage-stuffed-peppers/

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BLT Ranch Burger

BLT Ranch Burger A Pinch of Joy

 BLT Ranch Burger A Pinch of Joy

First time I made ranch burgers, I used ranch dressing out of the bottle.  Oh, don’t do that!  They were moist – just like I thought they would be.  That was a good thing.  But they were so moist they came apart and slid down into the barbecue flames.  Not a good thing.  And they were so soft that it was impossible to slide a spatula under them to lift them off the grill.  Really not a good thing!  This recipe gives the taste and tenderness without the falling apart mess.  Save the bottled ranch dressing to replace or supplement you ketchup allotment.  Works much better! 

Adding the BLT takes a good sandwich up a notch.  Or maybe it’s the other way around – adding a burger to your BLT takes a good sandwich up a notch!  Either way marrying two good sandwiches will be a tasty thing. 

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BLT Ranch Burger

Yield: 6 burgers

BLT Ranch Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • ¼ cup finely minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 package ranch dressing dry mix
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Go withs
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • ½ pound of bacon
  • 6 medium lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato, cut in six slices
  • Ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. Mix first five ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Form into six equal patties.
  3. Grill.
  4. While burgers are grilling, crisp bacon in pan on burner or in microwave.
  5. Slice tomato and select lettuce leaves. Place on bottom bun.
  6. When burgers are done grilling, add to sandwich bottom, lettuce and tomato.
  7. Divide bacon slices among the six sandwiches.
  8. Add ranch dressing and top bun.

Notes

Charlene @ A Pinch of Joy

http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2013/08/blt-ranch-burger/

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Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

Orange Glazed Cornish Hen - A Pinch of Joy

Orange Glazed Cornish Hen - A Pinch of Joy

Cornish hens are an out of the ordinary entrée, perfect for any special occasion.  A Valentine dinner for two or an Easter dinner for the family, a birthday celebration as well as an alternative meal for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The history of the Cornish hen is interesting and fairly recent.  A young Frenchwoman, Alphonsine Davis, moved to Paris where she worked in a cheese shop and a millenary shop.   Jacques Makowsky,  a Jewish printer to Csar Nicholas II, escaped the Russian Revolution and fled to France where he met Alphonsine.  They married in 1933 and escaped the Nazis by moving to New York in 1940.  Jacques printed exquisite boxes for high end cosmetics and in 1946 retired to a large farm in Connecticut.  There they raised African guinea hens, a delicacy prized by exclusive restaurants.  A fire wiped out their flock in 1949. It would take several years to bring production of these birds back to scale.  They promised their customers a temporary solution.   Alphonsine, by then known to friends and family as “Te” for her middle name of Therese,  came up with the idea to breed game cocks from Cornwall in England with the common New England breed, Rock Island.  The result was a small heavy breasted bird that became so popular no one ever missed the guinea hens that it replaced.  By the Mid-1950’s their farm was sending out 30,000 Rock Cornish hens a day.  Talk about making lemonade from lemons!

The birds are not fully Cornish nor are they always a hen.  Gender doesn’t matter – only that the bird weigh 2.2 pounds or less.  They can be a bit pricey, but watch for a sale to make the cost more reasonable.   Servings are often based on one bird per person which would be about a pound of meat.  Cutting the bird in half lowers the cost per serving, and makes the servings sizes more reasonable, too!  I cut these in half along one side of the breast bone and the back bone, using a sharp knife.   I patted the cut birds all over with a dry rub and then oven roasted them with a honey glaze.  I don’t typically make gravy or sauces (to avoid the additional carbs) so I lined a jelly roll pan  with aluminum foil before placing the roasting rack on top.  I lost the drippings, but clean up was easy.

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Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

Ingredients

  • Two Cornish hens
  • Dry Rub
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic and herb (McCormick Perfect Pinch or similar)
  • Glaze
  • 1/3 cup of orange juice
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of mild honey barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. If hens are frozen, thaw in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Prepare Cornish hens. Cut in half along the breastbone, using sharp knife. Break ribs away from backbone and finish making cut through. Remove tail and clean any other undesirable parts away.
  3. Turn on oven to 375 F. .
  4. Mix dry rub and apply to both sides of the cut chicken, lifting skin and patting dry rub under it. Pat any remaining dry rub on the outside of skin.
  5. Prepare baking pan. If no roasting pan is available, place rack on jelly roll pan or other shallow pan. Line with aluminum foil for easy clean up, unless planning to deglaze pan and use drippings. Place chicken on rack and let set until oven is preheated.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Prepare glaze, in the meantime.
  8. At thirty minutes of baking time, generously brush honey orange glaze over chicken, being careful not to brush off any rub on top of the chicken. Return to over and adjust oven temperature to 400F.
  9. Repeat glaze every 10 minutes for the next 40 minutes. Pierce chicken to make sure juices run clear or use thermometer to see if temperature has reached 180F.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2013/01/orange-glazed-cornish-hens/
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