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Mini Stuffed Peppers

(Makes about 20)
Mini Stuffed Peppers Appetizer
Mini Tri-Color Peppers Stuffed with Meat and Cheese
Sweet mini peppers are usually sold in supermarkets in an assorted tri-color (red, yellow, and orange) mix packaged together.  The peppers have minimal seeds and are sweeter and milder than most other varieties. Mini peppers range in size from 2 to 4 inches.  They make a great addition to salads, they can be grilled, stuffed, or eaten right out of the bag for snacking.
These mini peppers are stuffed with a ground beef and cheese mixture for a delicious appetizer or light lunch.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
10 sweet mini peppers
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large garlic clove, minced
8 ounces ground beef
1/2  teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated  Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese, divided
1 egg


Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
Grease a small baking dish and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the peppers in a single layer.  Cook , turning once, until the skins begin to blister and brown, about 5 minutes.  Arrange the peppers in the prepared baking dish, cut side up.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, red pepper flakes, and garlic to the skillet.
Cook for just a minute until the onion starts to brown.
Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and incorporating the onion mixture.  Add the dried oregano and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the meat until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and cool for about 10 minutes.

Stir the Parmesan and 2/3 of the Fontina cheese into the meat mixture.
Stir in the egg.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Stuff about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture into each pepper using your fingers or a spoon.  Evenly divide the remaining Fontina over the top of each pepper.

(The peppers can be stuffed up to 4 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before baking.

Bake until the peppers are hot and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
Serve warm.
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