Okay, so I was chatting it up with my friend Amie on Gmail chat (she lives in California, so we keep in touch that way), and she was telling me what she made for dinner that night. You know me, I like to get ideas from others and try all kinds of new things. Well, she had made stuffed red bell peppers that night. Easy enough, I've had it before. But get this...she stuffed them with cous cous! Hooray for that Moroccan carb I love so much! She gave me the basics and I took it from there....and we had them for dinner last night. Super tasty, and I hope you enjoy them too!
Cous Cous Stuffed Bell Peppers
1 box flavored cous cous, any kind
1/2 to 3/4 lb pork sausage (Amie used turkey sausage I think, and I used the lean jimmy dean stuff, whatever works)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped very finely
any other veggie you like. mushrooms would have been good, but I didn't have any
4 sweet bell peppers (I used red, but you could use orange or yellow as well. Green ones are a bit more bitter, so I stay away from those for this)
Cut the tops off your bell peppers and then gently remove the ribs and seeds. Set aside. Brown your sausage and break into small crumbly pieces, and then add garlic and onions and whatever else you like to the mix. Remove from heat when veggies are tender. Cook the cous cous according to the pkg. Generally it says to boil the water with some oil or butter and seasoning packet, then add cous cous and remove from heat and cover. Let it steam for 5 minutes, then fluff it with a fork. Add to your sausage veggie mixture, and then stuff your peppers, and then top it all off with some parmesan cheese. In a square baking dish, place peppers evenly spaced (one in each corner, generally) and then add about 3/4 c water to the pan to keep them from burning (releases steam into the oven, and therefore doesn't roast your peppers). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
**Note** My mom says she generally parboils her peppers first, but I kind of liked that I hadn't this time. Makes them a bit more crisp and I like the added texture. You can do that if you like them a bit softer. All you have to do is bring your water to a boil and then toss in the peppers until they turn a bright red or yellow or whatever color your pepper is, then pull them out. I like my bell peppers more on the raw side, and everything inside the stuffing is cooked, so it's a personal taste thing.