Monday, September 26, 2011

Roasted Red Peppers

Honest, it's not like I've given up eating--or cooking!  I just have been a tad occupied lately.

I've got tons of recipes all written out, but haven't had time to ILLUSTRATE them...siiiigh.  So this time we're going for photos and the heck with it!

Roasted red peppers can be bought at the store, of course--jars of them!  But 'tis the season, the farmer's market has been full of wonderful things, and I like 'em fresh and slightly smoky-flavored so I like to do it myself.

In case you didn't know, bell peppers are on the "Dirty Dozen" list for those of us who care about pesticides and such.  You can buy organic, which we do sometimes, grow your own, which we don't seem to, or buy them at the grocery store or farmer's market...then, you can either wash them VERY well (fruit and vegetable wash or a home made mixture of water, white vinegar, and lemon juice will strip off most contaminants) or do what I did and roast them.

They're lovely in Mexican food, salads, soups, you name it!'s how I learned to do it.  You may choose the broiler or oven, but this is more controllable...and more fun!  Of course you need a gas stove for this method.  You can use a campfire or outdoor grill too, if you wish.

A long handled fork works great...turn over an open flame till the skin blackens all over...
Of course you can do two (or more) at a time, without the fork...just turn them as the skin begins to blacken.  Careful, though, they're HOT.  Use tongs or that fork to move them.  And yes, they will drip pepper juice onto your stove...sooo worth it!

Let cool, then remove as much skin as possible under running water (it's the edible skin of peppers that holds the pesticides.)  Your thumbnail's a handy scraping tool, here.
Remove the stem and seeds, and slice as shown or dice any size you like them.  Use immediately or store in the fridge for a few days.  You can even pickle them, if you want!
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