Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world due to their shape, glossy appearance, and they come in a variety of colors such as green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown, and black. No matter the color, they all come from the same plant. Bell peppers have a delicious, slightly watery crunch. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavor, where the red, orange, and yellows are sweeter and almost fruity tasting. Bell peppers have become a staple in central Europe where they are dried for paprika, a necessity for the flavor of Louisiana Creole dishes, and an existing ingredient in both Mexican and Portuguese cuisines. The main producers of sweet peppers are China, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Nigeria, and Mexico.
When I cut the tops off my peppers to stuff them I use a tomato knife. A tomato knife (as seen in the picture) is a long, curved, thin blade with fine teeth for sawing. This knife is perfect for trimming out the membrane that is inside the pepper, shake out the seeds and you are good to go. A lot of people blanch their peppers before stuffing and baking, I don't. I stuff them raw. I pack my meatloaf mixture tight inside the pepper and leave a rounded top. Kind of like an ice cream cone.
I am going to share my meatloaf recipe with you. I made sure I measured everything as I went so I can provide you with a recipe. Usually when I make meatloaf I just dump and throw together.
Here is the recipe I used for my stuffed peppers:
Ground chuck (my package said 2.13 pounds)
1 c. chunky salsa (this takes the place of chopping onions)
3 TBS mustard
2 large eggs
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
Some shakes of salt and pepper
1 1/2 c. smashed Parmesan & garlic cheez-its (measured 2 c. crackers before smashing)
Mix all these ingredients together (I use my hand because it is easier to mix that way). Stuff the meat mixture in your cleaned topless peppers. If there is meat mixture left over, I always form it into a ball and drop it between my peppers. It makes a nice little meatloaf. Place your stuffed peppers in a deep enough oven safe pan that you can get a lid on. Cover with sauce.
For the sauce:
1 - 19 oz. can Progresso Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (This is one of the best tomato soups I have ever had. Puts Campbell's to shame).
Cover with lid and bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour (mine took an hour and fifteen minutes). I check mine regularly toward the end of the hour. When the peppers are fork tender, then they are done.