Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roasted Peppers

I will never buy roasted peppers that come from a jar. I just won't do it. They are easy to make. They do take some time, and you need to be hands on, but the deliciousness of a fresh fire roasted pepper is so yummy. If you have an electric stove or an electric oven I would suggest that you make these outside on your  grill. I have never had any luck making these with an electric oven.  I also like these best when they are made right on top of the burner.
When I was younger and my mother made these, I knew what she was making by the smell that these sent through the house. You are burning the flesh of the pepper and it smells like something is burning! But the taste, OMG!  So fresh and delicious that I wouldn't stop eating them. There were times that she didn't get a chance to season them we'd eat them faster than she could clean the charred skin.
Put your exhaust fans on... and let's get the fire started! lol
Wash and dry the peppers that you want to roast. I like the taste of red, orange and yellow peppers. You may also roast green peppers, they are just not a favorite of mine.
You can roast these in your oven under the broiler, but I like them on an open flame.
I have the flame on high and arrange the peppers so they are getting the heat all around them. You will need tongs to keep moving the peppers around so that the skin blisters all over the entire pepper.

Once the surface of the pepper is charred put them in a brown paper bag. You can probably use something else besides a brown paper lunch bag, but this is the way my mother did them.  Close up the bag and let them sit in the bag for a half hour or so. This will steam them, making it easier to take the charred skin off the pepper.

The pepper under the charred skin should be nice and tender. I just rub the blackened skin right off. I do not put the peppers under water to do this. You want the lovely flavor from the open fire to remain.
After the charred skin is off the peppers it's time to clean them up and take the vein out of the inside of the peppers and remove the seeds.

I usually pull the stem off the top of the pepper, and pull the pepper apart. With a knife scrape off the vein inside the pepper along with the seeds. At this time you can cut the peppers into sections, but I like to just pull them apart.
Now it's time to season them with extra virgin olive oil,  parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. I've had these in many restaurants and you can season these with many items.  While dinning at Rao's  in New York, these were made with pine nuts and golden raisins. I have to say that they were absolutely delicious! Probably the best I have ever had in a restaurant.
My sister, Michele loves these with anchovy! So play around, add your favorite ingredients and make these your own. You are going to love the flavors and once you make these and taste the difference from making them in your own kitchen, you will never buy these in a jar ever again!
Buon Appetito

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