Roasting Peppers

In my last post I explained a couple of options for smoking tomatoes.   Today I thought I’d show two options for roasting peppers.  Both roasted peppers and smoked tomatoes can be easily frozen in either zip-seal bags or other storage containers so you can enjoy them year round. 

Great cooking year-round is dependent on having great ingredients at the ready.  In today’s world we’re lucky in the sense that we can purchase just about anything we need/want nearly anytime of the year.  However there is often a price to pay, especially if it’s an ingredient that’s already been prepped in one way or another.  Roasted peppers are one of those items that are available in jars as well as even deli section “olive bars” these days but if you’ve made a key buy at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or had a bountiful harvest you’ll save yourself a lot of money by roasting them yourself.

First, why roast?

Roasting chars and blisters the skin which results in a delicious deep smoky charred flavor in whatever you might be preparing.  Roasting also cooks the peppers to make them much more tender and also makes it easy to remove the otherwise tough skin.

Fire-Roasting:

Probably the most common method and only method (until recently) that I’ve used.

This can be done on a grill or on the open grate of a gas stove burner.

After washing the peppers, place the whole pepper over a preheated gas or charcoal grill (or gas stove burner) and periodically turn the pepper as the skin chars and turns black.  It needs to do more than blister – it must actually blacken for best flavor and to remove the skin.

  Grill Roasted Peppers

Once the peppers are blackened all the way around, remove to a platter, plate, or bowl and allow to cool.  Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, carefully pull the core out and  you can simply scrape the blackened skin from the flesh by wiping with a dry paper towel.

Roasting in Broiler:

Oven Roasted Peppers - Starting to Roast

This is a new method to me and is perfect for people who may find themselves lacking both a grill and a gas stove.  Sandy Gluck, host of “EveryDay Food” radio show on Martha Stewart Living Radio swears by this method.  I was curious so tried it and have to admit it works very well and also minimizes concern of burning a whole in the side of a pepper if you forget to turn it!

Preheat your broiler for about 5-10 minutes.  Simply stand the pepper on the stem end and cut off the “panels” of the pepper.   Most peppers will have 3 or 4 “panels” or sides to them.  Place the panels on a foil-lined baking sheet (to speed up clean-up) with the skin-side facing up.  Place baking sheet under broiler until the peppers are nice charred and black.  Remove from broiler and cool until you’re able to handle them.  Peel in the same manner as previously described.

Oven Roasted Peppers - finish

Put your garden’s harvest or treasures from the farmer’s market to good use by preserving them for the rest of the year!

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