13 November 2010

Home Roasted Peppers

My Recipe Challenge is on its way today.  As I write, it is simmering on the stove top, filling the air with a delicious aroma!  This little endeavor has taken me two days to complete, though, if I had had the time it could have been done in one.  Why should chili take so long?  Well, because I cannot eat canned tomatoes (which is where one will find fire-roasted tomatoes in the grocer's), I had to roast them myself.  Subsequently, I decided to roast my peppers as well.  The recipe calls for chopped, roasted red and yellow bell peppers.  That can be a little pricey to buy in the store.  I will admit that I have never before roasted any vegetable, so I did some research.

   Red and yellow bell peppers
   EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil); just olive oil will do
   Baking sheet
   Wax paper or aluminum foil

The first time, I set my oven to two-hundred and fifty (250) degrees Fahrenheit.  I foiled the baking sheet, using about one to two tablespoons of olive oil to grease the foil.  I then sliced the peppers in half and removed the seeds and white pith with a paring knife.  Coating the halves with olive oil (and whatever spices you like), I placed them inside-down on the baking sheet...

...and I smashed them with my palms.  It is okay if they tear.

When this was done, they went into the oven to slow roast for about three hours.

They began to puff and blacken on the tops and around the sides they began to caramelize (that is what olive oil does when exposed to high heats for prolonged periods of time).

The most fun, or least fun, part was skinning the finished peppers with a paring knife and my fingers.  I would open the skin with the knife and pull it off with my fingers.  I did burn myself a few times on the pan and flesh of the pepper because I was not paying attention.

I did not like the results of the slow roast.  The flesh was too soft and resembled colorful slices of overripe mango.  Because I had not known how many raw peppers were needed to make a cup of diced, roasted peppers, I needed to buy a couple more and determined to try again.  The only difference is that I heated the oven to three hundred and fifty (350) degrees Fahrenheit and baked the peppers for an hour.  The results were much more pleasing.  The flesh was tender and malleable but firm enough to slice without slipping and sliding this way and that.

Have you had to learn any new skills or techniques in the kitchen for a particular recipe?

Copyright November 2010 (includes images; drawn by me in OpenCanvas)

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