Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

4 very large or 6 medium sweet peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup white rice, brown rice or quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno, minced (or 1 3 ounce can of mild green chilies)
1 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, sliced
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (you can start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 black pepper, plus more to taste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 1/4 C jack or pepperjack cheese, divided
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare peppers by washing, slicing tops off, and removing insides. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil whole peppers for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Remove from water with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

Add rice to boiling water and cook as per directions on package.

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno (or chilies) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, green onions, chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Place peppers in a baking dish. Remove skillet from heat and add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro. Stir to combine well and give it a taste. Add additional salt, pepper, and chipotle powder to your liking. Then evenly divide mixture between peppers.

Top peppers with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

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Mushroom Rice Pilaf

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups long grain rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Melt the butter and olive oil in a hot skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper; cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until caramelized.

Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter and olive oil. Increase the heat to medium-high. Let the rice cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, Stir in the parsley and fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

From What’s Cooking, Chicago?