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Self-Preservation: Roasted Red Peppers September 2, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Cooking Series, Food, Freezer Meals, Garden.
Tags: , ,

Ah, summer, when everything’s in season, and you can’t eat it all at once!

If you’ve been a reader here for any amount of time (a week or more, anyway), you’ll know that around here, we’re all about puttin’ up stuff – whether it’s a big old pan of lasagna, trying our hand at pectin-free apricot preserves, making our own mayonnaise, or even curing our own bacon – in most cases, it’s tastier, healthier, cheaper, and often, not all that difficult, to make it yourself – whatever “it” may be.

PhotobucketEarlier this week, we dried a whole oven full of tomatoes – we haven’t had to buy those lame store-bought sun-dried tomatoes in years!

So how about roasted red peppers?

Have you priced those lately?  I sure haven’t.

And guess why not – go ahead, guess.

PhotobucketOK, you got it – I buy them in season and roast them myself.  Piece of cake.

It’s really pretty simple – you start when they’re in season and you can get a bunch of big beautiful peppers cheap – I just picked up 4 for a buck at the market – I figure, at that price, I’d be crazy not to, huh?  (Last year, I got some at 6 for $1, as I recall, but, well, there are no guarantees, you know?)

So you start with your peppers, and go ahead and wash them if you want.  I’m going to be honest here – unless they’re visibly dirty, I usually just give them a quick wipe.  We’re going to be peeling the skin off of them anyway.

Now I’ve seen directions for roasted peppers that tell you to take a single pepper, hold it in a pair of tongs, roast it over the burner on your gas stove.


I mean, I guess that’s OK if you have one pepper – and the patience of a saint.

PhotobucketMe – not so much.  First, if I’m going to go to the trouble of roasting one pepper, I may as well roast several.

You know, in for a penny, in for a pound.  In other words, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.

So anyway, we’ve got 4 (or 6) red peppers, and we’re not about to hold them, one by one, over the kitchen stove.

If only there was something that had an open flame we could use for roasting these peppers.

PhotobucketSomething, maybe, with a grate for setting things on over that open flame.


So I’m sure you’ve figured it out already – I fired up the gas grill and just stuck all the peppers on the grate.  Let them cook over a high flame until they’re somewhat scorched – the charring ultimately makes them easier to peel.

(That, and it’s easier to tell that you’ve already grilled that side.)

Once you deem the peppers sufficiently blackened, just pull them off the grill and transfer to a steel bowl (remembering, of course, to shut the gas off), then cover with plastic wrap.

PhotobucketI’ve heard of people putting the peppers in a paper bag at this point, but I’ve never done that so couldn’t say how it works.

But I’m pretty sure, as the peppers cool, you wouldn’t get the neat-o shrink-wrap effect in a paper bag.

Simple things amuse me.  What can I say?

So.  After about an hour of cooling while you’re doing something else, your peppers will be ready to seed and peel them – and truly, nothing could be simpler!


Start by cutting the top of the pepper off – you want to get rid of the stem.  The skin on the very top won’t have gotten as charred as the rest of the pepper, so it will be difficult, at best, to peel off, anyway.

Cut your pepper from the top to the bottom – it should easily open up – kind of like a flat pepper book.  (Or something.)

PhotobucketRemove the seeds and membranes from the inside, then flip the pepper over and peel the charred skin from the outside.

Assuming your peppers are well-charred, you shouldn’t need anything but your own fingers to, basically, just rub the skin off.

If there’s a stubborn bit that wants to stick, it can just be scraped off with a paring knife.


And once the peppers are skinned and cleaned, I like to lay them flat on a lined sheet pan, set it in the freezer until they’re frozen solid, then slice them and pack them into a gallon freezer bag.

And there you go – a few minutes of active time (maybe 10 at the grill and another 10 to clean and peel the peppers) and a buck – and now I’ve got all the “fire-roasted” red peppers I could possibly need for those winter pasta dishes!

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