Portuguese Style Stuffed Pepper Appetizers
These tasty Portuguese Style Stuffed Pepper Appetizers are great for large parties and family gatherings.
They are made with ground Portuguese Linguiça or Chouriço, hamburg, rice, onions and peppers then topped with tomato sauce and Mozzarella cheese. They can be made ahead of time and put in the oven 45 minutes before the guests are due to arrive.
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- 2 cups Carolina Extra Long Grain Rice, Uncooked
- 12 Colored Peppers, Whole
- 1 lb. Portuguese Linguiça or Chouriço, Ground
- 1 lb. Hamburg, Lean
- 1 White Onion, Medium
- 2 lbs. Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 28 oz. Tomato Puree, Can
- 4 tbsp. Olive Oil
Step 1: Cooking the Rice
This recipe can be made with any rice that you prefer, you just need to follow the instructions and make enough to yield 6 cups of cooked rice.
In this recipe I used Carolina Extra Long Grain Enriched Rice and prepared it the following way.
- In a medium sized saucepan with a tight fitting lid add 5 cups of water, one stick of butter and 1 tbs of salt.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to low heat.
- Add 2 cups of rice and stir.
- Stir after 10 minutes
- Stir after 20 minutes (total)
- Check after 30 minutes to make sure rice is soft.
Leave cover off for about 15 minutes to allow rice to cool off a little.
Step 2: Cook the Linguiça
In a large sauté pan cook the Linguiça in 2 tbs. of olive oil on low to medium heat for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked. Once cooked put the Linguiça in a very large bowl.
If you are worried about the oil you can drain it but olive oil is good for you and all the Linguiça flavors are in it so I leave it in. Any oil will be absorbed by the rice so the peppers will not be greasy.
Step 3: Brown the Hamburg
In the same sauté pan you cooked the Linguiça in brown the hamburg. When the hamburg is done cooking, drain it and add it to the bowl with the Linguiça.
While the Linguiça and Hamburg are Cooking...
You will be able to start cutting up the onions and peppers.
Step 4: Peel the Onion
Peel and dice the white onion. Put in a medium sized bowl while you wait for the hamburg to finish cooking. Discard peels.
Step 5: Prepare the Peppers
Wash the peppers.
Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the stems. Dice the pepper tops and add to the bowl of onion.
Pull the seeds out of the bottom portion of the peppers and then cut each pepper into four pieces (see picture), removing the pith (whitish veins on the insides). Discard stems, seeds and pith.
Suggestion: Instead of cutting in four, cut in half or leave whole and make them the main course.
Tip: I used 7 green peppers for this recipe and 5 colored peppers. I felt 7 green tops would be too much so I only cut up three of the tops to add to the recipe and saved the remaining four in a Ziploc bag for later use.
Step 6: Cook the Onions & Peppers
After the hamburg has been drained and moved to the bowl with the Linguiça use the same skillet to sauté the onions and peppers until tender.
When they are done add them to the bowl of Linguiça and hamburg and mix well.
Step 7: Mix the Ingredients
Add 1/4 of the 28 oz. can of tomato puree to the large bowl of Linguiça, hamburg, onions and peppers along with half the rice. Mix well.
Add another 1/4 of the 28 oz. can of tomato puree to the bowl along with the rest of the rice. Mix well.
Tip: Taste the stuffing and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you like spicy add some crushed red pepper flakes.
Step 8: Prepare the Sauce
At this point you should still have half a can of tomato puree left.
Add 1-2 cups of water to the can of tomato puree until it is the consistency you prefer.
Spread some on the bottom of a large baking pan (you may need two pans) to reduce the sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan.
Reserve some of the tomato puree to top each pepper with after stuffing.
Step 9: Stuff the Peppers
Spoon the stuffing mixture into a pepper and place it in the pan. Repeat until all the peppers are stuffed and in the pan.
Spoon some tomato puree on top of each pepper and then top with Mozzarella cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a fork inserted in the peppers goes in easily. Be careful not to overcook the peppers or they will become mushy,
Ready to Plate and Serve!
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If you like this recipe you may also want to try the Hearty Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe.
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