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Friday, May 7, 2010

How To Roast and Peel Red Peppers

Red PeppersCharred Peppers

We've used this same method for red peppers and poblano peppers with equally good results.

If you have a gas range, turn the burners on high and place the peppers directly onto the grates. Using tongs, turn the peppers so they char evenly. Warning: Use caution as the peppers may hiss and bubble, but don't worry, it's just the water from the peppers evaporating. Peppers can be cooked on the grill the same way.

If you have an electric range, broil the peppers on high heat with the oven door slightly ajar. Otherwise, the oven will automatically moderate the temperature. Be sure to turn with tongs to ensure even blistering. 

As soon as the peppers are blackened all over, place them in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. The steam from the peppers will condense and help facilitate peeling. Do not open or you will release the steam.  You can also add a few tablespoons of water to the bowl to encourage the "steaming".  This does seem to speed up the process.

While the peppers cool, set up your cutting board and place a fine meshed sieve in a bowl nearby. Take a pepper, and with a sharp paring knife, make a slit down the length of the pepper cutting through only the top skin. Cut the flesh away from around the stem, trying not to separate the seeds from the knob of flesh that they cling to. Place the stem and seed knob into the sieve and open up the rest of the pepper like a book. Scrape the seeds from the inside of the pepper, placing the seeds in the sieve. The sieve will keep all the seeds and skins separate but allow any pepper juices to drip out.

Turn the pepper over and scrape the knife against the skin of the pepper, scraping off all of the charred skin. Wipe off the knife in the sieve. Slice the pepper into strips and place in the bowl under the sieve. DO NOT wash the peppers or the taste will be diminished. When finished with the peppers, cover them in oil, adding some garlic slivers, if desired, and store in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.

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