Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Roasted Red Peppers

A couple of weeks ago, the meal plan included two recipes that called for sweet red peppers, Cornbread Stuffed Sweet Red Peppers and 3 Cheese Sausage Manicotti. I was pleasantly surprised to find sweet red peppers on sale for 1.99/lb. and I commented to the lady standing beside me, who was also rummaging through the pile for the best peppers, "Can't beat that" or something to the same effect. She agreed and mentioned that she roasted hers and used them on sandwiches. Now there's an idea. So I tossed an extra one into my bag.

I wasn't even sure that I liked roasted red peppers as a sandwich topping until I made these. But now I'm hooked. I've hardly had a sandwich in the last two weeks that has not been improved by these sweet, delicious, red peppers that I roasted all on my own. I've also tossed them into pasta dishes and salads lately too. The other day I made a Lean Cuisine for lunch and there was a little something missing. So, yep...I threw on some roasted red peppers. I think something magical must happen during the roasting process, because they sure are yummy!

I started by halving and seeding the peppers. Then I placed them, cut side down onto a foil-lined baking sheet.

I baked them in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes until the skins were blistered and dark. Usually when I cook, it is a goal for the food to NOT look like this when I remove it from the oven- so, this was a nice change of pace.

Now bring the foil up around the peppers to enclose them for a 15 minute cooling off period. Again...another idea that goes against what I know to be true. Usually when something or someONE needs a 15 minute cooling off period, I've found it best to separate them, not enclose them in a small area together. However, this practice works quite well for peppers.

Next, I took the edge of a knife and separated the skin from the pepper. Then it peeled off easily by hand.

Naked roasted peppers.

I sliced the peeled peppers into perfect parallel and perpendicular picks...Peter Pepper picked a peck of...

Whoa, where was I?

Oh, yeah. Slice the peppers into strips so that they're ready for sandwiches or pasta. I sprinkled them with a little salt too.

I put them in a jelly jar and drizzled with a little olive oil before covering them and putting them in the fridge.

So the next time you find sweet red peppers on sale OR if you over-buy for a recipe OR if your garden is having a bumper crop, consider roasting some. I know there are ways to home can these as well. Hmmm. Maybe next summer...

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