Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers



PHOTO TUTORIAL  |  PRINTABLE RECIPE  |  HUNGRY FOR TIPS?

Fear Conquered: Homemade Roasted Red Peppers

A recipe with only two ingredients seems fraudulous. Or fraudulent. I don't think fraudulous is a word. But then roasted red peppers isn't really a recipe either.

And since I'm bothering to devote a post to a fraudulous recipe, you might be duped into thinking that making roasted red peppers at home involves some kind of special voodoo. It does not. These are so easy to make, it's fraudulent to even waste your time with a recipe.

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers

Unless of course, like me, you are terrified at the thought of making your own roasted red peppers at home. After all, roasted peppers are sold in bottles at your grocers. So there must be a reason to buy them. And there are all kinds of fancy names which strike fear in the hearts of those easily struck with fear. Fire roasted! Herb roasted! Fancy roasted! Whole roasted! It's enough to give anyone an inferiority complex. Or at least me. Oh, be still my faint heart!

In which case, perhaps a fraudulous recipe is not so fraudulent. Perhaps it's even justified, if only to still faint hearts and put to rest fears. Homemade roasted red peppers are easy to make and totally doable at home. Without fancy equipment. Without fire, herbs or fancy. Just peppers, just you, just like that.

Blackened Pepper Pieces in Heat Safe Dish

Why bother roasting your own peppers when you could pop open a jar from the pantry? What an excellent question and I have a convoluted answer. Because nothing is easier than popping open a jar, and if easy is your goal, why are you even reading my blog? Seriously. Don't bother. It simply is not logical, my dear Spock.

But here's my answer. I have this theory about food: if you can't bother to make it from scratch, you shouldn't bother eating it. Simple enough. So if you want roasted red peppers, make them. As for why from-scratch is so important, that's a little more complicated.

Most jarred or canned foods are processed to death (thus diluting nutritional value) and are packed with preservatives to boost shelf life. And then there are the added and totally overused (and abused) refined sugars and salts. And BPA. Don't forget about BPA. It's that nasty chemical linked to all kinds of health problems and it's used just about everywhere for canning everything (read my rant on BPA or read the evidence on BPA).

6 Red Bell Peppers

So I say start from scratch. Then you know what's going into your food. You control the ingredients. You control the cooking processes. You control the flavors. Control, control, control! It's a glorious thing! (At least for some of us with the need to control things.) But then you also have to get off the couch and take three steps into the kitchen. Which is tough. Especially when your favorite episode of Big Bang Theory comes on. Or Glee. Or Golden Girls. Or Star Trek TNG. Yeah, I watch too much TV...

And there you have it. The long, the convoluted but the very logical reason why you should pass up that jar of canned roasted red peppers and make them yourself. You even have a wholly unnecessary recipe. Just in case you have any lingering doubts.



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Photo Tutorial

6 Red Bell Peppers
Position an oven rack below the broiler and preheat to the highest setting. Rinse 6 large red bell peppers to remove any dust or dirt.

Slicing Pepper Flesh Away from Seeds and Stem
Slice away the pepper flesh from the core and seeds, working your way around the pepper core. Discard the core and seeds.

Seeds and Stems Removed from Peppers
You will be left with a pile of large pepper pieces.

Corning Ware Broiler Sheets
Line 2 baking sheets with foil (or use broiler-safe baking trays as I do).

Red Pepper Pieces on Broiler Trays
Arrange pepper pieces skin-side-up on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten pepper pieces with your palm if necessary.

Blackened Pepper Skins
Place baking sheets side-by-side under the boiler for 10 minutes, rotating sheets once halfway through, until skins are blackened.

Heat Safe Dish for Roasted Peppers
While peppers blacken, prepare a heat-safe dish (I use a piece of CorningWare).

Blackened Pepper Pieces in Heat Safe Dish
Transfer blackened roasted peppers to the heat-safe dish.

Peppers Covered with Damp Kitchen Towel
Cover with a wet dish towel.

Lid Over Towel
If you have a matching lid for the dish, place the lid on top of the towel to help trap steam. Let the peppers rest for at least 30 minutes.

Peeling Skins Away from Pepper Flesh
When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel blackened skins away from pepper flesh.

Roasted Red Pepper Flesh and Removed Skins
Discard blackened skins.

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers
Optionally coat roasted pepper pieces with olive oil; store in a sealed container for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to a month in the freezer.



STORY  |  PHOTO TUTORIAL  |  HUNGRY FOR TIPS?

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers

    by Javelin Warrior
     Prep Time: 10 min
     Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients (1 pint roasted peppers)
  • 6 large red bell peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Position an oven rack below the broiler and preheat the broiler to the highest setting
  2. Wash, core and seed the peppers
  3. Place the pepper pieces skin-side-up on two foil-lined baking sheets and place under the broiler for 10 minutes until the pepper skins are blackened, rotating the baking sheets once
  4. Transfer the blackened peppers to a heat-safe dish and cover with a folded wet kitchen towel; let rest for at least 30 minutes
  5. Peel away the charred skins and discard; coat the pepper flesh with olive oil. Store the roasted red peppers in an air-tight container for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer
An original recipe by Javelin Warrior. © 2011 Javelin Warrior. All rights reserved.
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STORY  |  PHOTO TUTORIAL  |  PRINTABLE RECIPE

Hungry for Tips?
  • You can also roast yellow, orange and green bell peppers (or even chile peppers) - I just prefer the color and flavor of the red. For smaller chile peppers, I recommend only halving the peppers to remove the seeds before roasting.
     
  • If you are not familiar with your broiler, watch these peppers closely the first time you try this recipe. Depending on your broiler, it could take 5 minutes to blacken the skins or up to 15 minutes.

    Blackened Pepper Skins
     
  • Covering the blackened peppers with a wet towel helps to create steam within the covered dish and helps to loosen the skins from the pepper flesh. I use a CorningWare dish with a fitting lid to trap even more steam.

    Lid Over Towel
     
  • Roasted red peppers freeze and thaw beautifully, so roast these off in big batches and then freeze what you're not going to immediately use. That way you'll always have roasted red peppers when you need them.

    Homemade Roasted Red Peppers
     
  • A lot of recipes list roasted red peppers as an ingredients, but you can also make a delicious sandwich with homemade hummus or mayonnaise spread over homemade multi-grain bread and topped with roasted red peppers and fresh greens.

    Homemade Roasted Red Peppers
     
  • For a delicious appetizer or snack, top a crusty baguette slices with goat cheese and roasted red peppers. Add to omelets, stuffed chicken, bruschetta and tomato sauces for a little extra sweetness and almost smokey depth of flavor.



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1 comment:

  1. My friend Sabrina left me a note on Facebook she has allowed me to share here on my blog. I stand corrected - there are two recipes for foods staring vegetables/beans that you will actually want to eat, maybe as much as at steak or chicken breast!

    -----------
    Sabrina's Comment:

    I have two!

    Assuming, that is, that we dispense with Mark's truly absurd notion that tomatoes count as fruit. Come on, now. Though, if you wanted to stick to this rule, you could substitute half tomatoes, half cooked and pureed red pepper in both of these recipes. It will make the recipes more time and labor intensive, and I'm not sure that they'll get appreciably healthier, but it would be sticking to the letter of Mark's law. Otherwise, break the law with me, use two cups of tomatoes, and let's proceed.

    The first recipe I call "Vegan Mess O' Greens" and it goes thusly:

    Get yourself a mess o' greens - kale, collards, etc. Cut 'em up and rinse 'em. Chop a whole large onion, and smoosh and chop a few garlic cloves - I like garlic a lot, so I use like, four, but you cause use however many you like. You can sautee the onion and garlic for a little bit in a titch of oil - or don't. Whatever. Chop up about two pounds worth of tomatoes. Now, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and greens go into a pot with a pinch of salt, 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and Frank's Red Hot to taste (you could use hot peppers instead, I guess, if you wanted, but I kinda like the Frank's taste here - it's up to you, maybe you'd prefer Tabasco. Again, whatever.) Now, simmer, so the leafs get tender and some of the liquid comes off. Simmer for at least 20 minutes, but for pretty much as long as you'd like. Serve with black eyed peas and brown rice - you know how to make those, right? Right.

    Sugar free, flour-free, dairy-free, low-fat or fat-free, depending. It's easy, healthy, and tasty! And it stores well for up to three days.

    The other is Vegan Cabbage Rolls - a little harder to make, but not too hard.

    Procure a cabbage. Now, put on some brown rice and lentils to cook. Core and food process about two pounds of tomatoes - simmer them low in a pan so their liquid reduces and their flavor intensifies - maybe add a little thyme if you'd like; you should end up with about two cups of tomatoeyness. Return to the cabbage. Cut off the stem stump. Gently - SOOOOOOOOOO gently - peel off the outer leafs (if you get a garden cabbage, dispose of the dark green outside-most leafs - cabbages in the store have already been so deleafed, so you can just start with the first leafs those have). Rinse those leaves and then steam them until they're soft and pliable. Let them cool. Are the rice and lentils done? Good! Chop a whole large onion and a bunch of garlic cloves, say five. Sautee those in a tablespoon of vegetable oil until the onions caramelize. Once that happens, add the rice, lentils, a whole bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped and rinsed, some salt, pepper, and 2 heaping tablespoons of paprika - you can use some smoked hot to replace a little of the sweet paprika if you'd like some kick. Now, get out a baking pan, and turn your oven to 350. Your task is to wrap bundles of the onion-rice-lentil-parsley-paprika mix into the the cooled, pliable cabbage leafs. Pretend you're making an eggroll or a burrito. You can use a toothpick to secure each roll if you'd like (just warn your future dining companions!) but I find that just nestling them up against each other in the pan works to keep them rolled. When you've made all the rolls you want or can, and they're nestled in good, pour the reduced tomatoes onto them, and put them in the oven, just to let everything bake together, maybe 20 to 30 minutes.

    Viola! Vegan, sugar free, flour-free, dairy-free, practically fat free!

    So. That is what I wanted to put in my comment to Mark.

    (Tomatoes are a fruit. Fie!)

    ReplyDelete