Monday, November 29, 2010

Bell Peppers; I bought, I roasted, I cooked

I took the week of Thanksgiving off and while I worked a bit (I can't seem to help myself) I did do things that I really like. Mostly roasting, painting and cooking; cooking, painting, and roasting. I was a vegetable roasting fool. It was like a mission I was on or something. 

I can safely say that if it can be roasted, I roasedt it.
Potatoes - done
Garlic - done
Carrots - done
pumpkins - done
red peppers - done. twice

I roasted peppers on Sunday then again on Wednesday. Out of those, I made two batches of red pepper hummus, one batch of red pepper fettuccine, used it to top poached eggs, spread it on sandwiches, and mixed it with cheese. 

top left to right; red pepper puree, hummus, pasta dough. Just the beginnings of my roasted red pepper madness

The hummus turned out great. JR and I ate all the first batch of hummus before the kids could get a taste. I felt bad (heh) so I made another batch. Just for them. *snort*. It's now gone. I found the mostly empty container still in the fridge. What is up with that? If it is empty take it out! If there is only 2 teaspoons take it out, eat it, then put the dang dish in the sink.

roasted red pepper fettuccine is yummo with spinach pesto.

I, then, roasted a whole other set of red peppers. With this batch I started with a cream of roasted red pepper soup. It was AMAZING! I've been hording just the right amount to make another batch of soup later in the week. I'd post the recipe today but I want to make it one more time before I release it. 

Candace's second bowl of soup. It was determined to be blog worthy then eaten too fast to take pictures. Next batch, I promise.

Have you ever roasted a pepper? 
Do you have an electric oven so assumed that the ability to char the skin was beyond your appliance technology?
Fear no more.
If I learned anything from my mother it was that there is little in this world that couldn't be charred beyond recognition in an electric oven. Gods truth! There is nothing that woman can't burn. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I learned that the bottoms of cookies weren't supposed to be black. It was a revelation. Butter knives became a utensil used to spread butter, not scrape the burnt blackness from the bottoms of cookies. Who Knew!

Let's go through the process:

1. Place peppers on a cookie sheet. Do not attempt this on your racks. Unless, of course, you really like cleaning your oven. If you could see the bottom of my oven you'd know that this was not the case for me.

I started with three then decided that that was just not going to do.

2. Place the oven rack as close to the broiler coils as you can without letting the peppers touch. Touching is bad. Turn on the broiler. You don't need to prep the peppers with oil or anything since there is really no chance of them sticking. If you don't feel safe or you want to decrease cleaning time go right ahead an oil them up. (I don't worry so much since JR does all the clean up. It's a deal we've got going.)

As you can see I didn't stay within the strictly red pepper boundaries. Yep, I'm a rule breaker. I would stay away from the green ones though. I just don't think their flavor is quite as developed but feel free to break some of the rules if you want.

3. Char them up. Electric takes a bit longer so you'll want to wait for 3 or 4 minutes before you flip them.

Keep flipping and charring until you have all the sides burnt. Makes peeling them a whole lot easier if they are burnt on all sides. They get really mushy which in turn makes turning them a challenge. Accept that challenge. Even if it means changing flipping devices, from tongs to a spatula.
Yes, I did leave my cast iron skillet in the oven at the same time. Like me, it love the heat.

4. Take them out of the oven and put them into something where they can hang out. They need to steam a bit to get the skins off. Putting them into something with a pretty good lids works best. I'd suggest a brown paper bag (not plastic). I just didn't have one. We only use those recycled cloth bags for groceries and insulated lunch boxes for, well, lunches. I used a great big pot with a fairly tight lid instead. Oh sure, the brown paper bag would have made clean up easier but see above statement about clean up as to why I don't fret about it.
 (can you say spoiled Princess Michele?)

See, all cozy like.

5. When they are cool enough to handle evacuate them from the paper bag/pot/wherever you stored them. Pull off the stem. Usually, this action will take most of the seeds with it. Start pulling the skins away from the pepper. I tend to like to get every little last bit so I've been know to run them under water while I do this. Also, if you have a sink disposal all these charred bits, seeds and stuff can all go down there. See clean up is half over (only thinking about JR here).

6. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. I used up my first batch of 7 within the first hour. Half of the second batch of 10 is waiting in the fridge for more soup and I'm not sure what. I'll take suggestions. 

Easy, tasty, and good for you. Works for me. 

I'll pass along all the recipes that I made out of these in the coming days or not. I'm in the middle of a conference that I am hosting this week, so like I said on Saturday, posting may be a bit sporadic. And, visiting will surely suffer. 

See you next week when I surface. I've got a cool idea for a candelabra from a store bought wreath. Nothing like last years epic how-to on making your own garland but totally respectable.



  1. Those look fantastic and I dig the picture where you can see the elements of the electric oven. Kinda cool. Cheers Michele!!

  2. I love roasted peppers and make them all the time. I cut mine in half and seed them first, then roast them under the broiler (I am fortunate to have a gas range); it saves having to turn them over.

  3. Matt: The photo was my attempt at getting all foodie.

    Jan: great idea. next time I'll try it your way. I was pretty happy with the result of my electric oven method. I usually do these on the grill.

  4. The oven innards lit up look like a disco lounge! Bonus points for CLEAN oven!! We usually roast hot peppers on coals on the outside grill. Spousal unit likes to play with fire - it's manly and doubles as "performance art".

  5. Hubby is a huge pepper fan - I'm going to have to try my hand at all that yumminess - he'll think he won the lottery or something! ;)

    MMMM: Grown Up Christmas List

  6. My gosh, those look absolutely gorgeous when baked up like that. Your method is so much better than what I learned.

  7. If you heat rather than char under the grill then put them into a zipper plastic bag you can peel them with ease. This works for tomatoes also. They cook a bit inside the bag but the steam seems to lift the skin from the flesh.

  8. I've been roasting my own red peppers since you first posted your hummus recipe. Delicious! They're also magnificent on sandwiches!

  9. Havent roasted peppers yet. Nor have I made hummus like I have been wanting to for years!!
    Recently we were taken out for dinner to my all time favorite restaurant Spezia and their hummus was awesome!!

  10. Honestly, I could bathe in hummus I love it so much. Is that strange? And what time shall I show up for dinner soon???

  11. Oh good, I'm looking forward to your hummus recipe. We just found out that our picky eater actually likes hummus, so one good thing to fix for her.