These cubanelle pepper boats filled with juicy meat, overflowing with melted cheese and bathed in a creamy avocado sauce is the dish your summer's screaming for.
The beauty of these Stuffed Cubanelle Pepper Boats with Avocado Sauce is that although this particular combination may not be quite a Dominican thing, the flavors and ingredients are all familiar to us.
And trust me on this: They go very well together. Better yet, this is very easy to make, makes a great one-pot meal, and requires no baking.
It's the perfect summer dish.
If you ever asked yourself "what can you do with cubanelle peppers?" chances are, you're not Dominican. Ají cubanela, as they're known in Dominican Spanish, is very popular in our cuisine, the most commonly used peppers in our country, and very important in my Dominican sazón.
It is not common though to use it as the main ingredient, I am here to break some rules. This dish and another stuffed cubanelle dish in our collection are some of my proud creations.
Every pepper has its own personality, and cubanelles are thin-skinned and have a strong, less-sweet taste than other peppers (which may not sound like an endorsement of a person, but it's fine in a pepper).
It is not spicy in the least, so it may look like an Anaheim pepper, but it isn't.
About this recipe
The combination of the hot, spicy filling, and the chilled, cooling avocado sauce work amazingly well. Feel free to make the filling as spicy as you want, or not. It's up to you.
I am pretty sure you'll enjoy this dish. My family certainly did, and I've made it several times to try to cope with the inescapable, unbearable summer heat. I don't serve anything else with it. It is, to us, a very complete, filling meal.
I hope you love it too.
Stuffed Cubanelle Pepper Boats with Avocado Sauce
- 6 cubanelle peppers
- ¾ lb minced beef, (0.34 kg)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp pepper, freshly cracked
- ¼ tsp cumin, (optional)
- 1½ tsp salt, (or more, to taste), divided
- 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 tsp hot sauce, (or more, to taste)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup grated cauliflower, (or carrot)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- ½ tsp fresh oregano
- ½ tsp salt, (or more, to taste)
- ½ tsp pepper, (or more, to taste) freshly cracked
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 large avocado
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt, (or more, to taste)
- Cleaning the peppers: Halve all the peppers, leaving the stem. Clean out seeds and white veins. Rinse and set aside.
- Seasoning the meat: Season the meat with garlic powder, onion powder, 1 tsp of pepper, cumin, and 1½ of salt. Mix to combine well.
- Cooking the meat: Heat oil to medium heat, add in seasoned meat, and cook stirring until it browns.
- Simmering: Add 1 tbsp of hot sauce and the tomato sauce. Stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the liquids have evaporated.
- Adding cauliflower: Taste and add hot sauce, pepper, and salt to taste, if necessary. Mix in the cauliflower. Remove from the heat and set aside. We don't need to cook the cauliflower, this will happen later in the process.
- Assembling: Mix all the ingredients for the base sauce, adjust salt to taste. Pour into a large pan.Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture, and place on the base sauce. Top with the cheese. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- Cooking: Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer over low temperature until the peppers have softened, but are still firm enough to hold their shape (about 10 minutes).
- Making avocado sauce: Mix all the ingredients with a blender, taste, and adjust salt to taste. Chill while peppers are simmering.
- Serving: Serve peppers with chilled avocado sauce on the side.