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Pepper-Roasting, a Tutorial

October 26, 2010

I’ve been debating with myself whether I should even post this, since it’s such an easy process and everyone should know about it already. On the other hand, when I found out how easy it is to roast peppers, it pretty much rocked my world. I went on a two-week binge, roasting as many peppers as I could get my hands on. The house smelled amazing.

So, here are two lovely peppers from the East Oxford Farmer’s Market, coated in a bit of olive oil. I’m actually not sure what kind they are. They vaguely resemble Anaheims, but aren’t really hot enough to qualify.

Put them under the broiler (or a grill on high-heat in the UK) for about 10 minutes, then flip them over and cook for 10 minutes on the other side, until both sides are charred. You can also do this in a very hot oven. (~450° F for 15 minutes per side.)

Depending on the delicacy of your pepper, you can play with how charred you want it to be. With a really sturdy green bell pepper, for example, you can let it get almost entirely blackened. These peppers were a bit more delicate, so I just let them get slightly charred.

Immediately drop them in a heat-proof bowl.

Cover with saran wrap and let them steam in the bowl for 10-15 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.

Then comes the slightly less easy part: the peeling and seeding. (Gloves recommended if you are roasting a really hot pepper, like a jalapeño.) You can save yourself some hassle by seeding the peppers before you roast them, but having tried it both ways, I’ve found that leaving the peppers whole results in a tastier final product. Something about “locking in flavors,” I suppose.

Once you have some practice, it isn’t really that hard to peel and seed them, anyway. Here’s my technique:

Pull out the stem and slit the pepper down one side with your finger or a fork.

Grab the clump of seeds near the stem end and pull upward and toward the other end of the pepper. (I got lucky on this one and it all came off in one pull.) Scrape off any remaining seeds with a fork.

Turn the pepper over and pull off the skin. Again, it helps to do this in strips running from the top of the pepper to the bottom.

That’s about it. These keep for about a week in the fridge and are delicious in chillies and stews, or in quesadillas and sandwiches, like the one I’ll show you on Thursday.

Happy Roasting!


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