Thursday, February 4, 2010

Roasted Red Peppers (Vegan, Vegetarian)

red peppers (duh)

This week red peppers were on sale for $1/lb at the grocery store, so like every other red-blooded American in that store, I allowed myself to be herded toward the sale bin and shoved 6 of the largest and brightest red peppers into my cart. It was only after I wandered away, satisfied with my savvy shopperness, that I thought to myself, "What the fuck am I going to do with 6 peppers?". Then it hit me: roast the bitches!!!

  1. Preheat your oven to "Broil" or set the temperature to 450-degrees if your broiler is filthy like mine is.
  2. Thoroughly scrub peppers with a vegetable brush and peel off any stickers.
  3. Dry peppers and lay them on their sides on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake/broil peppers for 30-minutes total, turning the peppers with tongs every 10 minutes, or when the tops become blackened and blistered.
  5. After 30 minutes (or when peppers are blistered all the way around), remove peppers from the oven and promptly place peppers into a large bowl, covering bowl with saran wrap.
  6. Allow peppers to cool and store in fridge overnight. Don't remove the saran wrap!
  7. The following day, remove peppers from the fridge and peel and deseed peppers, discarding seeds, skin, and excess liquid.
  8. Place pepper flesh in an airtight container and cover in olive oil. Until used, peppers can be stored in olive oil for up to two weeks (although I always feel weird eating anything left in there for over a week).

Okay, kids, this really ain't that hard. Follow the instructions above, paying special attention to:
  • leaving the peppers uncut when you place them in the oven
  • placing the peppers on their sides when you place them in the oven
  • not fucking with the peppers once you cover the bowl with saran wrap (sealing them in the bowl allows the moisture to continue steaming the peppers, which makes the skin easier to peel the next day)
The next day, when peeling the peppers, you don't need anything special - just your hands. Holding a pepper in the palm of one hand, peel the skin of the pepper off in strips with the other. Rotate the pepper 360-degrees in your palm, ensuring you've peeled all the skin off the pepper.

Next, allow the flesh of the pepper to split open. It's gonna want to do this naturally anyhow. If possible, begin splitting the flesh from the bottom up. When the pepper is fully split, turn the pepper inside-out, so that the majority of the seeds stay attached to the stem, and detach the flesh from the stem, discarding the stem. Run your fingers down the flesh to get rid of any rogue seeds before placing them in your airtight container.

I've always enjoyed roasted red peppers, but I've never attempted roasting them myself until now. How did they turn out? Well, I didn't try them yet, but the smell has been intoxicating, and I've pretty much had to beat my domestic partner away from the fridge with a stick because he wants to eat them straight out of the oil. I'm not allowing that to happen, because I have a plan... Tomorrow I shall make my own roasted red pepper hummus!!! Stay tuned :)

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