Let firefighter Mark Bendel give us the scoop on these peppers....pun intended
"They have been a favorite at GFD, because they can be adapted in a few different directions, and because they are tasty!
Growing up, my mother made stuffed peppers stuffed only with meat. I was like eating a brick inside of a pepper! (sorry Mom) Anyhow, when I got to the firehouse, one guy made them with rice and meat, and they were ok. I was watching food network one day and saw this recipe prepared and decided to try it.
It all took off from there. We had guys at GFD who wanted meat, so we added some ground beef, some wanted sauce, so we added sauce. Some wanted sausage, so one time we added sausage. We even made a southwest one where we used taco seasoning instead of salt and pepper, shredded cheese, and salsa. I always cheat and use Hunts Fire Roasted garlic Flavored tomatoes. Last night, we substituted acorn squash since zucchini is out of season, it worked well. We also did turkey meat, since one guy only eats poultry and not red meat.
The base is always peppers, tomatoes, orzo cooked in broth, and garlic. From there, you can put any spin you want on it. sticking close to the original recipe, the mint adds AMAZING flavor and an awesome aroma.
Hope all is well! Stay Safe out there! " - Mark
TURKEY ORZO STUFFED PEPPERS
Mark Bendel - Greenville Fire Department, NY
1 28OZ. CAN OF TOMATOES
2 ZUCCHINI, grated
1/2 CUP FRESH MINT, chopped
1/2 CUP GRATED PECORINO ROMANO, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
3 CLOVES GARLIC, minced
1 TSP. SALT
1 TSP. FRESH GROUND PEPPER
4 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH
1 1/2 CUPS ORZO (rice-shaped pasta)
6 SWEET BELL PEPPERS (red or yellow)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen shears or your finger tips. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth to a 3-quart baking dish.
Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.
Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the orzo stuffed pepper to a serving plate.