Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kitchen 'must have's' 150 years ago...

I had the pleasure of doing a couple of talks about Pioneer cooking techniques and foods at a local festival this past weekend.

The whole thing was thrown together at the last minute, but...  I'd been out of town for a couple of weeks prior to the event, and it was a busy week  couple of days for me when I returned home.

So, I did the talks with a couple of props and recipes and had some people who were interested enough to stick around and listen to my little spiel.   I'm hoping to do this again next year, but with a difference.   I'll actually demonstrate a couple of recipes and techniques.

This year I talked about some of our favourite kitchen 'must haves', or tools we don't think we can live without.   Mine being my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I just love mine, and of course there is the submersion blender and a few other bits and pieces that were not available, well, they weren't even thought of 150+ years ago.

  Back then, the home cook had a good fork, a spatula, maybe a couple of pine whisks, a few cast iron pans and skillets, as well as a dutch oven and of course some wooden spoons.   A lot of utensils were made by local craftsmen, and having a full cupboard of china was unheard of unless you were very wealthy.   Many people had hand carved forks, plates and bowls made of wood.

This picture was taken at a display in Zions National Park, and you can see some of the items a cook might have to hand.  From the fork with a Horn handle, probably hand made to the spoon, and very important, the key.   Many spices were kept in wooden boxes with a key, as they were very precious. 

I also talked a little about the varied meats that early pioneers ate, they weren't limited to just what they could pick up at their local grocery store.   They were only limited by what they could shoot, trap or barter for.  And can't forget the fishing either.

Think about it.  How many different meats do you eat?   I know for myself we eat chicken, beef and pork on a regular basis.   And some turkey a couple of times a year.    Can you imagine building your meals around whatever protein was available?   The only time you got fresh meat was after either killing your hogs, a cow or shooting a deer or wild turkey or other wild animal,  much of the time you ate preserved meat.   Which you preserved by salting, or smoking or a combination of both.   Refrigeration wasn't available, never mind freezing your excess meat.  I'm talking about living in the South here, not up North.

And you used what you had available for meals.   In the south, a lot of cornmeal was consumed in various forms, from mush in the morning, to 'pone' or cornbread with the midday meal and the dinner.   It was used in many different forms, and another day I will share a few cornmeal recipes but for now.

Since it's starting to get hot down here, and I'm thirsty...

I am going to leave you with a recipe I shared the other day.    Think about how hard it was to have a cool refreshing drink back then.    And how grateful you are for the choices we have for cool refreshing drinks we can make or purchase ready made.

Shrub *
Take four pounds raspberries, pour over them half a pint of vinegar, place it in an earthen jar, 
and cover it securely, so no air can enter, place  it in the sun for 12 hours, then inside overnight, 
outside in the sun again for 12 hours. Strain by placing it in a flannel bag, til the juice has run 
through without pressure. Then for every pound of juice, take a pound of loaf sugar, and boil for a quarter of an hour or til no scum arises. Then put into small bottles and well cork it. 

The vinegar preserves the juice, and you would mix this with some water for a drink.   You can also use this in place of bitters or as an apertif if you will.    

*This recipe is from my copy of Civil War Recipes, Receipts from the pages of Godey's Lady's Book, by the University Press of Kentucky

Check out this explanation of Shrub on Wikipedia for more information.   

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Convention Food Choices

I've noticed a trend the past few years, and it's a great one. 

There is a yearly convention I attend when I can't get out of going.  Yeah, I know, but after you've been to  over 20 of them, they tend to be tiring.

This year is actually my first one back after an absence of four years, (YEAH!!!, sorry I got excited there), and one thing I noticed is the variety of the food available to the convention attendees.

Away back in the dark ages, the only food available for convention goers to eat were prepackaged burgers, over cooked convenience style hot dogs and prepacked mini pizza's.    I used to bring my own sandwiches back then.   Really, I did.   There was also a restaurant, that offered cafeteria style meals, and it was always overrun, people would literally wait in line for an hour to get something to eat.   Mainly cause it didn't taste of cardboard or overheated nitrates.
Then luckily for us, all of us, the foodie trend started and the food offered went up a notch or five, and you could actually get a sandwich, or a bagel and a cup of decent coffee.  One year I even found a stand selling Dove bars, and I was very happy.  I think I visited that stand every single day at least once during the convention. 

As I said before, I hadn't been to a one of these conventions for a few years, (yeah!!!) and this year was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food offerings.   From really good Pizza, made right there on the spot, I know cause I was able to watch them, and I even enjoyed a slice.

There were pretzel dogs, and twists...
  there was Indian food, and it smelled wonderful, Italian,

Kosher, Deli foods, vegetarian offerings.

There was even a Bistro which was catered by a local hotel and by invitation only,

 There were also some fast food chains who got into the food stand biz, and it was all good.   More variety and such a nice change, especially when I remember the dark ages and the 'crunchy' hot dog I once got. 

Next year, I'll actually get on the stick and take picture of every food stand available, won't that be fun?   Actually I was amazed this year, the convention organizers really are making an effort to cater to the attendees' and their food preferences and needs.

Just thought I'd throw in a slightly different post this time,  gotta say though I missed cooking, so much so, I offered to make my daughter a pot of Chile Verde while staying with her, she very graciously (actually she jumped up and down with joy) allowed me the use of her kitchen, so I did get to cook once.   And I left her with enough Chile Verde so she could eat it every day for a week if she wished, with enough left over to have dinner a couple more times.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce

  Have I mentioned that I like (love) Mexican food yet?  And that I will cook Mexican food at the drop of a hat, or request from my husband?   Or just whenever I feel like adding some spice to my life.

  One of the hardest things about living here has been the lack of Mexican Restaurants that have the kind of Mexican food I'm used to.   And as you can see from my posts, I've managed to compensate quite well, for the most part.   We eat a lot of Mexican themed meals, and I've learned to make them to our taste.   One of the dishes I've missed the most though, is the Hot Sauce, served with a basket of chips at restaurants like El Rancho Grande or La Frontera in SL.    I did see this recipe on  Tasty Kitchen, at the Pioneer Woman website and it looked like it might be close to what I was craving. 

THIS IS ME JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND GOING   YIPPEE!!!!!  As I stuff chips slathered with this wonderful red sauce into my mouth, excuse the mumbling, mmmmmm.  

Sorry, I'll sit down now and finish.        The list of ingredients were all stuff I was able to get locally, so I got them and tried it.   I couldn't get enough Tomatillo's  that looked good, so I just cut down how much Chile De Arbol's I put in.   Figuring if it didn't work, oh well, at least I tried.   Yeah, it worked, it worked and I've been Hot Saucing everything the past few days.
Doesn't this look pretty? All snuggled together in the pan.

Chile de Arbol Hot Sauce

12 fresh whole Tomatillo's, husk removed and washed. 
1 cup water, may add more as needed  (you will need to add more, but try it as written first).
1 whole white onion, quartered
3 whole garlic cloves
1 bag (about 30 Dried Chilies) Dried Chili de Arbol,  about a handful and a half.   (I used a handful because I could only find 8 really good looking Tomatillo's
1 tbsp. Salt, or more as needed
1 tsp. Ground Cumin (I used a touch more, I like Cumin)
Juice of one lime
Tomato Paste

Take the husk off the tomatillo's and wash them, then place them in a skillet with the water, the quartered onions, and garlic.  Heat at about medium heat.
While that's heating, open the chile's and break off the stem end and place them in the pot with the tomatillo's, onions and garlic.  (Next time I make this and there will be a next time, I'm going to do the chile's first, soaking them in hot water and then add that to the pan and let them cook that way, I want the chile's to be a little more soft).    Keep an eye on them, and check for doneness.   You actually want the tomatillo's to be a little browned, I just kept turning them, and putting the chile de arbol's back into the water.   I added some water after about 20 minutes, as it was getting a little dry.   You also want the onions cooked, but not browned.  After I took everything out of the skillet, I added about 1/4 cup of water, and swirled that around in the pan to take the fond off.   (Fond is that stuff left behind when you brown meat or veggies, just think of it as concentrate).    Take them off the heat and place in a blender and whirl them up till it's all combined.    Add the salt, cumin and lime juice.    (Next time, I will process the chile's first to break them down, then add the tomatillo's and the onions.)
Fresh out of the blender

I tasted it at this point and decided it was missing something.   I added some more salt and then took part of the sauce aside, threw it back in the blender with a couple of Roma Tomato's, a handful of fresh Cilantro, and processed it some more.

Ready for taste testing

I also had my official taste tester check it out.   We both agreed it was missing something, he suggested some tomato paste to thicken it, so I dumped a couple tbsp. of  my favorite Tomato Paste  in there and we tasted it again.  This time, perfection.

See the little flecks of cilantro in there?
On the left, the original sauce, on the right, with cilantro added in it.

If you're a fan of hot sauce, this is a great one, and easy to make. 

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Souvlaki Ribs and Tzatziki

One of the reasons I love hosting Tapas Night each month is the incredible variety of dishes people make and bring.  But foremost is the fact I get to try new recipes, and this one,  Pork Souvlaki looked very intriguing.   For one thing, it was made with Pork, which is my favourite meat, it incorporated Mint Leaves, (my mint plant was taking over my office and needed trimming) and there was no cucumber anywhere.    But Pork ribs were on sale and the frugal person that I am, I elected to try making ribs instead of using tenderloin.

After harvesting fresh mint leaves and parsley from my garden, and using a Meyer Lemon I'd also grown, I was ready.   So I'm bragging a little here, it was such a kick to go outside and pick what I needed from my little container garden.   Can't get much fresher than that.

Minced them up

 7 lbs. Pork Ribs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley
1/2 cup Fresh Chopped Mint
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper

Mix all the ingredients up for the marinade and baste or pour over the ribs, let the meat side of the ribs sit in the marinade for at least one hour at room temp, or if you have the fridge space, in the fridge overnight.

I got my ribs out, made the marinade, actually I increased the amounts cause I had a couple of racks of ribs to cover with the marinade.    I brushed on the marinade on the front and back of the ribs, set them meat side down on some cooking sheets and let them rest at room temperature for an hour. 

Placed the ribs in a 325 deg. oven, covered with foil for an hour, then took them out, flipped them over so that the meat side was down into the marinade and baked them for another hour.   Took the foil off, and let them cook for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then flipped them over again, and let them bake meat side up for another 45 minutes.   By which time the fragrance wafting from the oven was driving me crazy, so I cut a piece of the meat and tasted it.
Tender, flavourful and a hit, at least with me.  

While they were roasting I made the Tzatziki sauce.   I've only had Tzatziki with lots of cucumber and garlic, but this recipe didn't have any cucumber or garlic.    So I again, went into my garden and picked some more mint and parsley, (the plants should recover, hopefully)  and made up the sauce.   And you know, you didn't miss the cucumber or garlic.    And when I served it, I forgot to put out the Srircha sauce.  grrrr.   Just means more for me later on, so it wasn't all bad.       


1 cup plain Greek Style Yoghurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon minced lemon zest (I used my microplane on the lemons I'd used for the marinade)
1 tablespoon EVOO, (OK, so I eyeballed it a little here)
1 teaspoon Honey (make sure you get real honey)

Mix together and refrigerate until the ribs are done.

Serve with some warmed flatbread or Naan.  

I think it was a success, cause there were two paltry ribs left at the end of the night, but I ate them for breakfast the next morning.   So they didn't go to waste at all.  

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Tapas Night for April

I know you've been waiting for this, I do.    As usual, a wonderful variety of foods were made, brought and enjoyed at Tapas this month.    I do love hosting this gathering, not only do we get a wonderful group of people together, there are some incredible cooks here as well, and they share their expertise, or should I say the results of their time in the kitchen with the rest of us.

So without further ado...

Had to showcase one of my recipes first, well, it is my blog, so I get to go first. 

Dosa's with Chutney Sauce.

 In the front some Pepper Beef and Brown Rice.  Jeri left a little behind and I scarfed it up for lunch today.  Very, very nice.
Who doesn't like Shrimp Scampi?   Well, not too many people.  This was yummy.

You know me, you know I love Curry and Indian food in general, this was very good served with some Basmati Rice.   Come to think of it, I should have put some on one of the Dosa's and eaten it that way, hmmmm, too late now.

I made some Greek Souvlaki Ribs and also some Black Olive Tapenade.    I'll be sharing the recipe for the ribs later on this week.

Don't know if it's the Danish in me or not, but this Chicken Liver Pate was very good.  I do love Liver.  

Taco Rollups, what's not to like about them?  I mean really?   They were pretty popular as well.

I didn't get to sample these until all the little rolls were gone, but the peppers were very tasty.   At least I got a picture of the plate before the ravening hordes descended on it.   OK, so they were guests. 

How about this for a take on Cucumber Sandwiches?   They had tuna in the middle and were really fun to eat, oh, and they tasted good as well.

Doesn't this look so pretty?  And they tasted good as well.   Gorgonzola stuffed figs with walnuts.   (Don't tell anyone but I ate two).  

These were the hit of the evening, well kinda.   Peanuts, freshly picked and roasted just that day.   I mean, how fresh can you get?    Such a treat.

 I didn't get a chance to taste these, but they looked good.
Chorizo and Goat Cheese on melba toast, really good.    I did manage to scarf one of these up. 

Waldorf Salad, it disappeared before I got back to taste it.   Just lucky I actually was able to take a picture.

 Can't forget the dessert table.   I managed to miss getting  a shot of the chocolate pie, but the rest of the desserts were a big hit.    So there you have it, a round up of deliciousness and another month gone.  

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Dosa's for "Taste and Create".

We have a monthly gathering at our house, called Tapas Night.   And I thought that Tapas Night and my assignment from Taste and Create should go hand in hand.

And they did, beautifully.

  I tried this, Rawa Dosa from Study Food.    It was also a recipe that had previously been made for Taste and Create.    Taste and Create is a bunch of bloggers who are assigned a blog and then they have to make a recipe from that blog, and write about it.    I was asked to join them a couple of months ago, and I did.

I got rave reviews on this dish by the way.    Although I did have to modify it a bit.   I had no way of getting Semolina flour or Farina without traveling 60 miles to the nearest story that sold it, but it just so happened I had some Gram Flour, also known as Chickpea Flour in the cupboard.   Plus of course the rice flour I had made previously so I used them.

1 1/2 cups Chickpea Flour
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1/2 large red onion, finely minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 finely chopped Jalapeno Chilies  (I used some that I keep in my freezer)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (I keep a ginger root in my freezer and use my microplane to get fresh grated ginger when a recipe calls for it)
1/2 cup  Plain Greek Yoghurt
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves (I actually didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 cups + of water, enough to make a thin batter
Peanut oil for frying

 Mix up the batter and let sit at room temperature for at least one hour before making the Dosa's.    This should resemble a thin pancake batter.   And this is important.   I made a Dosa from it just after mixing it, and it tasted totally different from those I made after the batter sat for the hour or so.  It's almost as if they matured in taste.

Finely minced onions dumped into the chickpea flour mixture

 After trying to make larger Dosa's, and having them stick to the pan
 Trying to turn the second Dosa, made it fall to pieces. 
If you have a non-stick pan, use it.   I don't, but do have a nice little pan that usually doesn't stick, but these dosa's do stick really easily to the pan when cooking.   I attempted to make larger ones, that you could wrap around some meat I'd cooked, but ended up making small dosa's instead cause they stuck to the pan so bad, even with oil and non stick cooking spray.   I will make these again.  So tasty.  
Next time I might add some flour to them, I was also trying to keep them gluten free, but I think the addition of flour might help, will help a lot.    When frying these, wait til they turn translucent and bubble a little before turning them.   In other words, pretend they are pancakes.

I served these with some Major Grey's Chutney and they were so good together.   The combination of the sweet and the hot were so good.

See how pretty they looked on the table.    And this is after a few people had sampled them.  

 I'll be posting the pictures of all the great food everyone brought to Tapas Night later on.  

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Grilled Steak and Cheese Sandwich.

Some years ago I had an absolutely yummy grilled steak sandwich at a chain restaurant.   That particular restaurant isn't one we frequent so some time went by before we ate there again, and by this time, they had changed the menu and the sandwich was no longer available.    I cried, but they wouldn't relent and make me one anyway. 

The other day I had a lovely piece of leftover steak and decided to recreate the sandwich.    I'd had that sandwich on my mind for quite awhile, and got this AHA!! moment when I spotted this lovely leftover steak in the fridge.    I didn't have any Swiss Cheese on hand, and the bread wasn't the same kind, but I didn't care, I had the steak and there was a bottle of Caesar dressing in the fridge and the next thing I knew I was putting this together.   I persevered and here's my version, and it was very tasty.

 I spread some Caesar dressing on the bread, layered my lovely, very thinly sliced steak on it.
And since I didn't have swiss cheese, I added some shredded colby jack cheese on top (which was not a mistake),  then placed another buttered slice of bread on top of that and placed them in the pan.  OK, so I made myself two sandwiches, but it was from a baguette loaf so the slices were really small, I mean, it only really counts as two slices, really it does.  
I was kind of hungry at this point and drooling, which wasn't a pretty sight at all, however, I was able to summon the patience for them to cook, well, grill up in the pan.
The finished result, and yes, one of them has a big bite taken out of it, but I was hungry and it tasted so good.

You need some lovely bread for this, I choose a nice Artisanal baguette, thinly sliced, butter, Caesar dressing, some cheese, and a nice piece of grilled steak.   Mine was medium rare, and it did cook a little more, so I would start with a steak cooked almost as much as you want it.  Cooling the meat before slicing it, is also recommended, as the meat has a chance to firm up and you are able to slice it very thinly.   (and dare I confess, I would so go and cook up a nice steak, just so I could make this sandwich again).
And if you have a Panini Press or maybe a George Forman grill, I bet it would work in that as well.  In fact I think I'll haul my George Forman out, but first I need to go and cook another steak up.
See you later.  


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Home Made Tortillas

 I love a fresh hot tortilla, dripping with butter and with some lovely Chile Verde inside.    We had some Chile Verde the other day, and I made some tortillas to go with it.   It just so happened I actually remembered to take pictures this time, and I thought I would let you follow me along while I made them.

First off, you need the makings for the dough, I use Quakers Harina Preparada  Para Tortilla Mix.  Yes, I said mix, and if you read along here you know I use very little prepared foods, I really prefer to do it as much of it from scratch as possible.   But, this mix, well, I've tried many recipes, and most are pretty good, but using this mix is pretty much Sid proof.

To start with, measure out two cups of mix into the bowl of your Kitchen Aide mixer if you have one, or just use a good wooden spoon to mix it together.   Add just over a 1/2 cup of very hot tap water, mix and knead for a few minutes, then set it aside to rest for a little while.   The dough will be lovely and elastic.     We like our tortilla's a little thicker and poofier so I learned to add just a touch more water.

After the dough has had a chance to rest from all that mixing together stuff, take it out and cut into 5 even pieces.  Well, if you want six or more you can do so, but I've found this makes 5 'right size' tortillas.

 Lightly and I do mean lightly, flour the counter with a little of the dry mix, make a little ball out of each piece of dough and then pat out into a roughly circular piece.  You can keep patting it out or use a rolling pin to finish it off. 

 Heat up a cast iron skillet til very warm, don't grease it, just get it nice and hot.   Place one of the dough rounds into the pan.  It will start to bubble a little, at which point you flip it over.  This only takes about 30 or so seconds per side.    I usually turn down the heat a little on the third tortilla, cause let's face it, cast iron skillets hold their heat, and while you want a nice brown to the tortilla, you don't want it burnt.  Just a couple of char marks, for flavour.

And here is the finished tortilla.   After I remove the tortilla from the pan, I spread some butter on it and wrap it in some foil.   This keeps it warm as I finish cooking the rest of the tortillas, and adds some flavor as well.   And keeps them soft as well. 
If you notice the nice little almost burnt bits on the tortilla, this is what makes a tortilla taste great.     And the little puddle of butter on top, well, that just pushes it over the top.


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Monday, April 15, 2013

SRC- 2 fer Stuffed Peppers and Loose Meat Sliders

My assignment this month for the Secret Recipe Club was Suzanne's blog    Thru the Bugs on My Windshield
 She is actually one of the founding members of The Secret Recipe Club so I was excited.   And even though she's got some issues with her blog, ( some links don't work)  I found a recipe and made it and it was good.   I love stuffed peppers anyway, but haven't found 'the recipe' to make them yet.  But this is pretty darn close, oh who's kidding who?  I'll make them like this again and again and again. .  And then I could use the leftover meat for Sliders.   Wait, can I post about making a two-fer?    Too bad, I did.    2-fer is the title of the link, really...

The Secret Recipe Club is a fun idea, bloggers are assigned a blog from another member to make something from.   And until the 'Reveal' day, you have no idea who has your blog or what recipe they will choose from your blog.   And it's always fun to see what someone does with one of your recipes, they tweak, they twiddle, and most of the time, improve on it.  I'm not one who goes looking at a lot of food blogs, just don't have the time, so this gets me out of my comfort zone and looking at new ideas as well.  

At any rate, I got all the ingredients together, realized I didn't have any more sun dried tomatoes so I cut up a Roma tomato, very thin, sprinkled it with some olive oil and a touch of salt and threw it into the oven for 60 minutes at 200 degrees, then I upped it to 300 degrees for another 30 minutes  (I didn't waste that heat either, I was cooking some chicken so I could make dog food for my dog, and I had the frozen chicken in there with the tomato cause it needed to be thawed as well and she doesn't care how I do the chicken).

Once I made the 'fake' sun dried tomatoes I was ready to proceed.  I sauteed the beef, had the rice all cooked and ready to go, (I like to prepare the rice and let it cool first, it doesn't seem to absorb and swell as much that way).   Par cooked the peppers the way Suzanne suggested, and got busy stuffing...  Oh yeah, you par cook the peppers in microwave for about 2-4 minutes, no blanching here. 

I also used a 6 cheese shredded mixture, cause I had it on hand anyway.  

Ground Beef Mixture
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 medium Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Red Chile powder
1 Tbsp minced Garlic, fresh
Put fresh ground meat into frying pan along with all other ingredients and cook meat until browned. Drain fat if necessary.   You won't use all of this meat mixture, so you can save it for some loose meat sliders or something else entirely.

 Stuffed Peppers
2 Green Bell Peppers , tops cut off and seeded
1/2 pound Ground Beef Mixture (see recipe above)
1 1/2 cups cooked  Rice.   I love Uncle Ben's Converted Rice, but use whatever brand you like.
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheese, I used some leftover pizza cheese
7-8 pieces Sundried Tomatoes in olive oil, chopped or make your own from a ripe roma tomato you dried in the oven at 300 degrees for about an hour. 
2 teaspoons chopped scallions (I buy it in a little jar, keeps for up to two months in the fridge.)
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste (I love the paste in a tube, but if all you have is a can, then go ahead and open it, and freeze the rest in tablespoon measures, great for last minute additions)
2 Tbsp sliced Black Olives
1/2 cup sauteed Mushrooms
1 tsp. Cumin
Cut the tops off the peppers, just below the stem indentation. Take seeds out of the bottom and discard.  Use the tops for another recipe or just do what I do  and eat it.  Love fresh green peppers anyway.

Rinse peppers thoroughly and place in a small microwavable baking dish, open side up. Microwave on high for about 2-4 minutes, or until slightly steamed.   (by the way, this is also a great tip for mushrooms as well if you are making stuffed mushrooms, sorry couldn't help throwing in another hint.)
While the peppers are in the microwave, mix all the remaining ingredients, except for 1/4 cup of the cheese, in a large mixing bowl, or do as I did, mix it in the skillet.  Saved washing up another bowl. 
Remove peppers from microwave and stuff with your ground beef filling. Top with remaining cheese and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

(I only made one of these, as I'm the only one who eats stuffed peppers in this house, but oh was it good, I also added some sautee'd mushrooms as I had some made anyway.)

Now for the second part of the 2 fer.   Divide the rest of the meat into two or three portions, mound them on either small hamburger buns or small buns that have some ketchup and mustard spread on them.  Then just add some sliced onions, and pickles and maybe some cheese and serve.   Nice as a change of pace. 

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