One, Two, Third Time's a Charm Egg Stuffed Peppers

I was raised to not be a quitter. It was always a rule growing up that if I decided I didn’t want to continue with an activity or an endeavor, I had to at least finish out the year and then choose not to re-enroll the following year. I think it’s pretty well ingrained in me now to persevere through adverse conditions and try, try again until I either get it right or I have at least fought my way through to a point where it’s appropriate to respectfully bow out. It’s not really surprising, then, that I don’t take kindly to recipes gone awry. My reaction isn’t, “oh, forget this!”; rather, I say, “well then, what can I do differently next time to make it work?”

I have been working away at this one recipe since last October. I only made three attempts before finally nailing it, but it was still a pretty drawn out process. Like I said, I don’t admit defeat easily. The first time I attempted to make this grilled egg stuffed pepper, I hollowed out the stem a little too much and the egg leaked out a little bit. So, the second time I figured that I would cut the pepper cross-wise instead of lengthwise, giving plenty of room for the egg and avoiding the issue of the stem. Unfortunately, the pepper had this little, tiny pinprick of a hole at its base – I think just to spite me – and once again, I had a leaky egg. Finally, on my third attempt, I managed to bake an egg in a pepper (I know, I didn’t even grill it – I’ll have to try it on a grill over the summer when I have access to one) without little bits of egg escaping and spilling all over my baking dish. 
In the end, I’m glad I kept with it, because once you get the logistics of it correct, it’s a very fuss-free and healthy meal. It’s also hugely versatile – add in other veggies, use different cheeses (or eliminate the cheese altogether, though I personally liked it there), add in your favorite herbs and spices. I often eat this for lunch at the end of the week when I’m left with part of a pepper and a carton of eggs, a real reminder that a trip to the grocery store is in order.
Now, I read recently that food bloggers shouldn’t mention such things, such “flops.” We’re here to make things look easy and glamorous. Apparently, no one cares about the 2 times I unsuccessfully tried this recipe. Fair enough. However, this blog is called “Floptimism,” and I feel like I owe it to you to admit that no, I didn’t just waltz into the kitchen one day and make this perfectly on my first try. It was a fairly simple recipe, but I hit some snags, and after some persistence and experimentation I have for you a truly enjoyable meal. I hope getting a glimpse of Oz Behind the Curtain didn’t frighten you all away – at least not before you had a chance to print this recipe, anyway.
Egg Stuffed Peppers
In this recipe, an egg is baked into a bell pepper and topped with a thin layer of golden-brown melted cheese. Flavor it to suit your tastes – this is one versatile & satisfying dish!
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
The Ingredients
1 large bell pepper
2 eggs
3-4 tablespoons egg whites
2 tablespoons “salsa juice”1
hot sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons cheese

The Method
Carefully halve the bell pepper lengthwise, leaving the stem on one half and keeping the lip on the stem-less half as high as possible to prevent spilling. Set aside on a lightly greased baking dish. 

Mix together the eggs, egg whites, salsa, and hot sauce. Divide evenly between the two pepper halves and top each with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Cover the peppers with foil and bake in a toaster oven at 450° Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, removing the foil to brown the cheese for the last 5 minutes.

1A little while back, I told you about a salsa recipe that had you strain out the liquid. I told you to set it aside for another use, and this is how I chose to use mine! If you don’t have any, though, feel free to get creative – regular salsa, tomato sauce, chicken stock, even some extra egg whites would work well. There’s also so little of it that simply omitting it would also be fine, though the end product would be slightly less flavorful.
2Other ideas for this meal: (1) Increase the hot sauce and stir chopped celery and shredded carrot into the egg mixture; top with blue cheese (2) Add other vegetables in general – a small amount of spinach, chopped tomatoes, avocado – just be careful with the volume of the filling compared to the size of your pepper to be sure it won’t overflow (3) Play with the liquids! Try 1 whole egg + stock, tomato sauce, or even some milk per pepper half instead of the egg whites.

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