Tuesday, April 27, 2010

About Red Peppers

Red Peppers are about as beautiful as anything in nature, I think, and are delicious and nutritious as well. I'm sure you use them raw in salads or toss them into stir-fries. Of course they grew in abundance in Adriana's kitchen garden, along with green and yellow, but here on the west coast of Canada I have to buy them. But red peppers are plentiful in the stores in the Fall and the price is reasonable, so for many years now we purchase one or two cases so that we can roast them in bulk and then freeze them for use during the winter months. How often have you come across a recipe that sounds great but calls for one or two roasted red peppers, and having attempted to roast peppers in the past and scorched your fingers, have abandoned the idea? Despair no more. Here's what you can do so that you always have a supply at hand.

Roasted Red Peppers
First, purchase a case or two of red peppers, and wash them.
Now put on a jacket (if you're in Canada in the Fall) and start the barbeque.
Pour a glass of Prosecco (or whichever wine you like) and find a pair of tongs.
Get out your biggest soup pot with a tight-fitting lid and put it nearby.
Cover the surface of the grill (when its good and hot) with a single layer of red peppers.
Sit in a lawnchair close to the wine, tongs in hand, and turn the peppers until they're blackened on all sides.
As each one blackens put it into the soup pot and put the lid back on. Keep adding peppers to the grill until you've done them all.
Put the pot on the kitchen counter to be dealt with the next day. (Put it in the frig if you live in a hot climate.)
By the time you're ready to deal with them, the hot peppers will have steamed in the pot, finishing the cooking process, and the skins will have started to lift off while the syrupy pepper juice will have collected in the bottom of the pot. They'll be nice and cool and easy to handle.
Peel the peppers, putting them into a bowl and discarding the peels and the seeds and membranes that you scrape out. Do not discard the juice!

Using zip-lock freezer bags, portion out the peppers in the amount you think will be the handiest. Then portion out the juice, pouring some into each bag of peppers.
Seal and freeze.
These are absolutely delicious and require very little time to defrost in a bowl on the kitchen counter when you need them.

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