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Yummy stuffed peppers

So called, because Maths Geek remarked "These peppers are yummy. Yummy, yummy, yummy".  This could easily be turned into a vegetarian dish by omitting the roasted meat.  I made this when I was wondering how to use up some left over rice from the night before and some left over roasted lamb, where there was not alot of either, but together with lots of other ingredients they made a tasty and filling meal.  Use what ever vegetables and meat you have available.  Couscous would also be a good filling.  This is a good meal to prepare in advance and heat at the last minute. Or prepare in stages, whenever you happen to find a few minutes when you are not needed elsewhere.
  • a selection of peppers, enough for everyone's appetites
  • several tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, red or white, very finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced in half lengthways and then finely sliced
  • left over roasted lamb (or other left over cooked meat), very finely chopped
  • half tin sweetcorn 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • cooked rice or couscous - enough to fill the peppers
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries/ raisins
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts/ almonds
  • zest of half orange
  1. Carefully cut off a quarter of each pepper, lengthwise, leaving a lovely little home for the stuffing.  With a sharp knife, carefully remove the pith and seeds from inside.  Retain the cut off pepper for later.  Baste the inside and outside of the peppers with a little of the olive oil and bake in a hot oven (180 C) for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Be careful not to over bake, as this will leave your peppers too soggy. 
  2. Meanwhile, fry the onion in a little olive oil.  Add what ever vegetables you are using, as well as the cut out bits of pepper, chopped up small.  Coat well and leave for 5 minutes or so to cook. Do not let burn.
  3. Now add any meat you are using, the garlic, thyme and left over rice/couscous.  Stir well, season and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until ready to eat.  
  4. Sprinkle in the dried fruit, the toasted pine nuts/ almonds and the orange zest and stir well.  
  5. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and then transfer the stuffing into each pepper home. 
  6. Cover and put in a medium hot oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through but not dried out.