Jack O’ Lantern Stuffed Peppers
This year, Halloween is right after Diwali and I thought I wouldn’t be able to publish this post before Halloween. I am so glad that I managed to draft the recipe and post it on Halloween. 🙂
My kids asked me to make some creepy looking food for this Halloween but for some reasons, I cannot relate food to scary, creepy and spooky stuff. I love to create only cute and healthy food. I did not want to make spooky looking food and at the same time I did not want to disappoint my kids. So, I made these cute scary Jack O’ Lantern stuffed peppers for my kids. My kids were delighted to see their dinner plate served with this Jack O’ Lantern pepper. These Halloween peppers are very easy to make. I made a healthy & simple rice using black beans, corn, peppers, Mexican spices and Enchilada sauce.
Let’s begin the process by keeping the ingredients ready. I mention this in all my recipes because having all the ingredients ready makes the job much easier. I have learnt it by my experience.
Cooked Rice – Prepared with 1 cup raw rice(I have used Sona Masoori Rice)
Finely chopped fresh garlic – 1 Tbsp.
Mexican Oregano – 1 Tsp.
Bell Pepper – 1 (chopped into small pieces)
I have used red color bell pepper in the rice
Bell Peppers – 2(To make Jack O’ Lanterns)
Roasted Cumin Powder – 1 Tsp.
Red Chilli Powder – 1 Tsp.
Onion – 1 medium sized(chopped)
Frozen Corn – 1/2 cup(Steam for 10 minutes)
Canned Black Beans – 1/2 cup(drained & rinsed)
Canned Enchilada Sauce – 5 oz.(I have used half the quantity from a 10 oz. can)
Jalapenos – 2(deseeded & finely chopped)(optional for more spiciness, I did not add them)
Shredded Cheese – 1/2 cup(Mexican Spice Blend)
Vegetable Oil – 2 Tbsp.
Salt – as needed
This recipe can be made instantly with canned black beans and canned Enchilada sauce. If you decide to make this recipe from scratch you need to plan ahead. Wash and soak the dry beans for at least 12 hours. Discard the soaked water. Add fresh water and pressure cook them until soft, but not mushy.
Enchilada sauce can be made at home too. I chose to use canned enchilada sauce because I was tired with the preparation of all the Diwali sweets and snacks.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Transfer the cooked rice into a wide bowl and let it cool.
Wash and pat dry the peppers with a paper towel.
I have used orange and yellow color peppers to make Jack O’ Lanterns.
Slice the top of each bell pepper. Keep the tops aside. Remove and discard the cores and seeds. Carve a Jack O’ Lantern face on each pepper using a paring knife. Place the tops back on each pepper.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the peppers on the baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until tender.
While the peppers are baking in the oven, we can prepare the stuffing. Place a wide heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add oil and turn the pan to coat oil on all sides. Add garlic and sauté for few seconds. Add chopped onions and sauté for few more seconds. If you are using jalapenos add them along with the onions. Add black beans, steamed corn and chopped pepper. Sauté for another minute.
Add red chilli powder, oregano, cumin powder and enchilada sauce. Cook for a minute.
Add the rice and salt to taste. Sauté for few minutes until everything is mixed well and the sauce is soaked up.
By this time, the peppers in the oven will be done and ready to be stuffed. Remove the baking tray from the oven. Carefully stuff the peppers with the prepared rice. Add cheese on top. Place them back in the oven and bake for 1-2 minutes just until the cheese melts. Turn off the oven. Remove the baking tray from the oven.
Meanwhile, add the remaining cheese on top of the rice in the pan. Close the lid and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese on top starts melting. Adding cheese is optional. You can skip this step. Serve the Jack O’ Lantern stuffed peppers to the kids and stuff yourself with the delicious rice in the pan.
Hope you enjoy making these boo-tiful stuffed peppers for this Halloween!!!!