Yucatan Stuffed Peppers

An adaptation of a popular Mexican dish, Yucatan Stuffed Peppers are delicious served zuith tomato rice and a crisp mixed salad. Sangria would be an excellent accompaniment.

4 large green, red or yellow peppers

2 fl. oz. plus

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 medium-sized onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 green chillis, finely chopped

1 lb. lean beef, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

2 tablespoons flour

8 fl. oz. beef stock

8 oz. cream cheese

5 fl. oz. single cream

1 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins

With a sharp knife, slice off 1-inch from the wider end of each pepper. Carefully remove and discard the white pith and seeds. Set the peppers aside. Remove and discard the stems from the sliced tops and chop the flesh into small dice. In a large frying-pan, heat 2 fluid ounces of the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, chillis and diced pepper and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and tran-slucent but not brown.

Add the beef, oregano, salt, bay leaves and Tabasco and fry, stirring occa-sionally, for 5 minutes or until the beef begins to brown. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and stock and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180’C).

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaves and spoon the beef mixture into the reserved peppers.

Using a pastry brush, brush a medium-sized baking dish with the remaining oil. Stand the peppers upright in the baking dish and place the dish in the centre of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place the cream cheese, cream, salt and cayenne

Yucatan Stuffed Peppers makes a tasty and unusual lunch or supper dish. in a small saucepan and stir well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the sultanas or seedless raisins. Place the pan over moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is hot but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce over the peppers and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve the peppers immediately.

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