Bell peppers have a Southwestern flair when stuffed with rice, black beans, and vegetables such as corn, carrot, and leek. Diced poblano peppers (which, like bells, are members of the Capsicum family) spice up the filling, along with cumin, turmeric, and paprika.
- 6 medium assorted bell peppers (3 pounds)
- 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 ounces button mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice
- One 14 1/2-ounce can low sodium chicken stock, skimmed of fat
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (3 ounces)
Slice off tops of peppers about 1/2 inch down from stems, reserving tops for another use if desired. Remove and discard seeds and cores. If any won't stand upright, shave a little off bottom, making sure not to cut into cavity; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut leek into quarters lengthwise; slice 1/4 inch thick Place in a bowl of cold water; soak 5 to 10 minutes to remove dirt and sand. Lift leek slices out of water; discard sandy water. Drain in colander; set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to often, about 5 minutes. Add carrot and poblano pepper; cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes.
Stir in rice; cook mixture, tossing to coat, for 1 minute. Stir in stock, the water, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer; cook, uncovered, until the rice is just tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the corn, black beans, and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Divide the mixture among the bell-pepper shells, mounding it. Peppers can be made a day ahead up to this point.
Place peppers in a glass baking dish, and fill with 1/4 inch water. Bake until peppers are tender and filling is hot, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, and cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.