Stuffed Banana Pepper Boats
12 to 15 large yellow hot banana peppers
¾ pound loose Italian Sausage
½ pound lean ground beef
1 large onion finely chopped
5 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
4 Tablespoons loosely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 Cups shredded Mozzerella cheese
8 oz brick of fresh Mozzerella cheese
3 to 5 fresh ripe tomatoes
Cut tops off of banana peppers and make one cut lengthwise from top to bottom. Gently open the pepper to clean out seeds and membrane being careful not to split the pepper in half.
In a hot skillet, sauté chopped onion and 3 Tablespoons of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 3 minutes, just enough to release the flavor into the oil. Add the sausage and ground beef breaking it up so it is not chunky. When it is about half browned, add 2 Tablespoons of the basil and all of the oregano. Continue browning until fully cooked, adding salt & pepper to taste. When fully cooked, remove from heat and add the shredded Mozzerella cheese letting it melt into the meat. Carefully open the peppers and stuff with the meat & cheese mixture. The melted cheese will act as a binder making the meat stick together and stay nicely inside the pepper. The fully stuffed pepper should now be open looking like a “boat”, and will lay nicely on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 until the peppers are the desired tenderness – about half an hour.
Remove from oven. Slice the tomatoes to about ¼” thickness. Lay a single layer of tomato slices over the meat of each pepper. Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of garlic and fresh basil. Cover completely with thin slices of the fresh Mozzerella cheese and return to the oven just until the cheese melts and begins to slightly brown.
Recipe Courtesy of Becky Miller
Photo from Photos.com