Corn-stuffed green peppers?
These were my favorites of the various stuffed peppers my mom made - basically scalloped cream-style corn baked in the peppers. These also have a special historical significance to me: in August of 1945, I was having one of these for lunch one day when the bells of the church next door began to ring. I asked Mom what that was all about - I was four at the time - and she said, "The war's over!" I started hearing guns going off all over town, so I finished my lunch and went out on the porch with my little popgun, which made no noise worth speaking of but satisfied me somehow.
Anyway, although I can't sell any sort of bell pepper in this house (Mrs. O hates them), I'd like to make some to have for lunch on August 15th as a personal sort of commemoration. Besides, I recall that they were really good. The making of them seems obvious and straightforward, but I've made one attempt at baking stuffed peppers before and I recall some problems - they tasted okay, but were kind of squashy and not the nice firm-but-tender upright things I remember. Any special tricks to this?
And PLEASE don't post any newfangled or upscale recipes. This was a woman whose sole bible was her looseleaf BH&G cookbook, plus whatever she'd learned from her father's family recipes.
1950 Betty Crocker says to cut a thin slice from the stem end of each pepper, so they stand up. Wash 6 peppers, remove seeds and membrane, boil in 1 cup water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt for 5 minutes. (In a covered kettle.)
The filling recipe for ham-and-corn peppers is:
1 cup medium white sauce
1 cup whole kernel corn
2 cups ground cooked ham
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Fill 6 parboiled peppers loosely, sprinkle with buttered crumbs, bake 20 minutes in moderate oven.
If you're having a problem with peppers getting "squashy" then I'd skip or shorten the parboiling of the peppers before stuffing. (I don't parboil, but instead bake the empty peppers for 10-15 minutes in the oven -- saves me a pot.)
Recipe from 1953 for corn filling:
6 ears fresh corn (makes 2 1/2 cups kernels)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp sugar (these days corn is so sweet this should probably be omitted)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
a little milk
Cut corn from cob. Melt butter; add corn, onion, sugar, salt, water. Simmer until water is almost all evaporated and kernels are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add enough milk to give you a moist stuffing. Fill peppers. Top with buttered crumbs, if desired. (To prepare buttered crumbs, melt 2-3 Tbsp butter in skillet, add 1/2 cup fresh dry bread crumbs, stir over moderate heat until crumbs are all coated.) Bake stuffed peppers 15 minutes at 350F, then 5 minutes at 400F.
I have never heard of corn stuffing for peppers but I do like the idea. I would add cheese in and on top of the stuffing.
Perhaps Mrs. O would like them better if you used red or yellow or orange bell peppers, which are sweeter. Or instead of pepper, make hers in zucchini or eggplant.
Not sure if this was your problem but I never parboil the peppers. I might try stuffing them with a savory corn pudding or your own scalloped corn recipe and baking for 45 minutes to an hour. The filling and peppers should be done about the same time. I would think you'd definitely need egg in the filling to help it set up.