This is another collaboration between me and my husband. We found a delicious looking array of peppers while shopping and just had to buy an assortment. After much debate, we decided to make stuffed peppers. Add that to the package of cube steaks that kept trying to jump out of our over-stuffed freezer and Friday night's dinner was born. This was only the second time I've ever made stuffed peppers (the first time did not end well) and I'm excited to say that they turned out yummtastic! We were tempted to gobble down the filling before we even stuffed the peppers lol. Hope this meal tantalizes your taste buds as much as it did ours. :)
1ITALIAN CUBE STEAKS:
*If you want an extra kick to the seasoning, try adding 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, red chili flakes and chili powder.
2Heat your oil in a large frying pan (I like my cast-iron pan for this but stainless or non-stick will work just as well). Start with the heat on high, then bring it down a bit once you start cooking. Test the oil's readiness by dropping a pinch of flour in it. If it sizzles and pops, you're ready to fry.
3Press your steaks between some paper towels to remove the excess juices. Really wet steaks result in gummy coating and icky blood bubbles in the oil (sounds gross but I don't know how else to describe it).
4Cut a strip off one of the steaks (about 1/4 of the steak), dredge it in your flour mixture and fry. Should only take a minute or two, depending on the size of your piece. You'll want to take it out when the coating starts to turn a golden brown.
5Taste test for flavor, adjust seasoning if needed.
6Dredge the remaining steaks as you are ready to cook them (if they are left to sit in the flour too long, they get gummy) and fry. Should take 3-4 minutes each side only, over cooking makes them oily and a bit tough. If you want to test your time, cook one steak per directions and check it for doneness. Also, don't over crowd the pan, it will drop the temp of the oil. If the oil temp gets too low, the steaks end up needing additional cooking time and will get over-saturated with oil. Place the steaks on a plate covered with papertowels when they are done cooking.
Wash peppers then remove tops, seeds and fibers.
8Prepare rice per package directions.
9Cut corn kernals from cob.
10Add corn, seasonings, cheese and 8 oz of spaghetti sauce to rice and mix well. Taste test, add more seasoning, salt/pepper if desired.
11Fill all the peppers with rice mixture.
12In a baking dish or deep sauce pan with a lid, mix the remaining 16 oz. of spaghetti sauce and the water. (You can do this recipe on the stove top or in the oven, directions for both follow.)
13Place your peppers in the dish/pan and spoon some of the sauce over them. (Red peppers don't usually stand well on their own so you'll need to put them in the middle and use the other peppers to keep them upright.)
14For sauce pan: Heat on medium until the sauce just begins to bubble. Turn down low and cover, cooking for additional 45 - 60 mins depending the desired tenderness of the peppers. The longer they cook, the more the sauce will absorb the flavor of peppers (YUM!). Keep an eye on it and if the sauce is getting too thick, add a little more water to get desired consistancy. Also, I baste every 15 minutes but it isn't required.
15For baking dish: Cover dish with a foil dome. Make sure you leave some space between the peppers and the foil or they won't steam right and will end up soggy. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Check tenderness and continue cooking in 15 minute intervals if needed. Again, baste if you wish, but you don't have to.
16*Variations: 1 cup of veggies such as carrots, peas or mushrooms. I wouldn't go over a cup without adding more spaghetti sauce to the rice mixture or it gets a bit dry.