Last September I was in Monterrey, Mexico on business. Having never been to the city before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. If you are not familiar with Monterrey, it is the capital city of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León. It is one of the larger cities in Mexico and, until recently, the city had long been regarded as the safest in Mexico. Monterrey is a highly developed city with the highest per capita income in the nation and I would say it is a very Americanized city.
While my stay was relatively short, I did have a number of great meals while I was there and as my garden has been giving me a plethora of fresh peppers, I decided to try and recreate a dish I enjoyed. As I can't remember what the restaurant called them, I've just named them Monterrey Stuffed Peppers.
Unlike the traditional American stuffed pepper, with these you prepare the meat stuffing and cook it stove top before finishing the dish in the oven. As the weather is still warm, I followed my usual tradition of attempting to cook the entire meal on the grill and serve it alfresco.
These are quick and easy to prepare, so give them a try.
2 large, sweet peppers of your choosing
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 ounces or any small amount of prepared pimento, chopped
1 packet of taco seasoning (hot or mild, as you prefer)
1 cup grated cheese, yellow and white of your choosing
1 cup prepare Picante Sauce or
1 cup prepared Mole Sauce (as you prefer)
Prepare your ingredients by cleaning and halving your peppers, chopping your onion and grating your cheese. Saute the onion in a large skillet with the smallest amount of oil possible, until most of the moisture is gone. Add the ground beef and brown, using your spatula or spoon to break up the beef into very small pieces. Brown the beef until most of the moisture is evaporated. Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine, then add the water per the packet directions (about 1 1/3 cups). Cook until most of the liquid is gone. Stir in the pimentos and remove from the heat.
Stuff each pepper half with the meat mixture and cover the top with the shredded cheese. Bake in a 350F oven (or the same temperature grill) for 15 minutes, to cook the pepper. Be prepared for the peppers to become somewhat soft and to spread out as they cook. Serve the pepper topped by the Picante Sauce and a side of sour cream, if you prefer. Serve with rice or refried beans.