Creamy Stuffed Bell Peppers

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2 hearty servings

Tip: If you examine the bottoms of bell peppers, you will notice that some have 3 bumps and some have 4 bumps. Opinions differ about which are best for cooking; I personally prefer the 4-bump peppers for this recipe because they stand up nicely in the baking dish (unlike the 3-bumpers falling over in tonight’s dinner photo). 😀

Ingredients
2 medium-sized bell peppers (yellow, orange or red preferred)
1/2 cup Brown Rice Medley (Trader Joe’s or similar mix of another brand)
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 shitake mushrooms
6 stalks broccolini
1/4 yellow onion
2 Tbsp white wine
4 medium-sized pre-cooked meatballs (Click here for some you can make at home.)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup whipping cream (not whipped)
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp shredded Grana Padano or Asiago cheese
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Prep
Wash, dry and trim all vegetables as needed.
Dice mushrooms, broccolini and onion.
Cook hollowed bell peppers for 2 minutes on high in microwave. Salt insides lightly; set aside in a small baking dish.
Cook rice medley according to package directions; hold in pan.
Slice each meatball into 4 slices and place in bowl to hold.
Have all ingredients available at your cooking station.

Directions
Heat olive oil in medium skillet. Sauté mushrooms, broccolini and onion for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat until just tender. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Add white wine and simmer until most of liquid evaporates and deglazes the pan. Remove vegetables and add them to the bowl holding the meatball slices.

Melt butter in skillet; whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook for about 1 minute then gradually pour in chicken stock, whisking continually to prevent lumps. Simmer and stir for about 1 minute, then add cream; bring back to simmer and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add S&P as needed.

Add vegetables, meatball slices and rice medley to the sauce. Stir in the 1/4 cup shredded cheese; simmer as needed to slightly thicken the mixture, then spoon equally into the 2 prepared bell peppers. Note: If there is too much filling for the peppers, spoon it around the base in the baking dish to be served with the peppers. Bake in microwave for 5 minutes or in preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Serve one stuffed bell pepper per serving, dividing any extra filling. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp shredded cheese over the 2 peppers.

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