My mother's stuffed peppers were the true version that you might see on the cover of Good Housekeeping magazine. Perfect containers filled with beef, rice and seasonings, standing upright, stoic in a sea of bright red tomato sauce. They were absolutely delicious, and they were made in my house every Wednesday because they were the Thursday special in my family's restaurant.
In our world of global cuisine and talented chefs, you can find hundreds of varieties of stuffed peppers. I've seen and cooked Mediterranean stuffed peppers with feta, orzo and oregano. I've tasted stuffed peppers filled with everything from clams, truffles and rice to chicken, caviar and linguini. I've even seen really unusual and exotic pepper species become the containers for fillings. I am taking the traditional route here merely substituting a soy-based meat product for beef.
The key to great stuffed peppers is cooking the rice almost all the way before incorporating it into the stuffing. I use white basmati rice, but you can use short-grain brown rice, if you prefer. A starchy rice gives the filling a velvety texture. Rice helps bind the filling together as well. Use your favorite marinara sauce with the stuffed peppers.
—By Chef Steve Petusevsky