Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Roasted Peppers

(adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen, at http://theshiksa.com/2010/02/04/roasted-bell-peppers/)

Wash the peppers, and cut out any soft spots. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a rimmed baking/cookie sheet with foil. Place the peppers on their sides on the baking sheet (so the stems point to the side, not up). Don’t let them touch. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn them with tongs so the opposite side is up. Bake then another 20 minutes. They should be soft, slightly charred, and mostly collapsed. You may need to leave some of the peppers in for a few minutes longer.

When they’re done, put the peppers in a paper bag and close the bag, or in a large bowl and cover the bowl. Leave them for about 15 minutes. This will steam them and helps to loosen the skin. Take them out of the bag or bowl, and slice each pepper from bottom to stem, and lay it open in a flat strip. Pull the stem from the top of the pepper. The stem and a clump of seeds should loosen easily. Use a towel or paper towel to wipe off any loose seeds that remain inside the pepper. Turn the pepper over, and strip off the skin. It should come right off. You can leave a bit of the charred skin on if you want. It adds a bit of a smoky taste, but leaving very much gives the peppers an unpleasant texture.

If you want to store the peppers for future use, put them in a glass jar and cover them with olive oil. You can also add a clove or two of garlic to the jar, this will infuse the peppers with a garlicky flavor. Cap the jar tightly and refrigerate. If you don't plan on using them within a week, freeze the roasted pepper strips in Ziploc bags. They hold up well to freezing and retain much of their flavor when thawed.

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