Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Roasted Red Peppers...and a good excuse

I am back from my longest expanse of non-blogging since I started this shindig. And I know that I am coming back with a not-very-exciting post. A how-to for making roasted red peppers. I can feel you deleting me from your RSS readers now. Please don't!

First of all roasted red peppers are possibly the easiest thing to make that most people buy pre-made. I'm not going to say that the jarred variety is tasteless or anything, but it is definitely more expensive. Plus when your peppers start to get a little bit past pretty, you can always roast them up to avoid wasting them. (Not that I do that of course. My produce is always perfectly fresh, local, organic, and seasonal... bell peppers are in season somewhere in February I'm sure.)

My favorite way to eat roasted red (or orange or yellow) peppers is on a good piece of bread. End of story. Sometimes I put them in my hummus. But this little pizza type thing I made last night was also delightful. And ridiculously easy. It would make a good appetizer for guests. Or if you're like me, you can just eat the whole thing yourself in front of the TV. (Interestingly, the episode of Good Eats I was watching was on making pizza dough. So if you need some dough to make a pizza like mine, check out Alton's technique. My pizza is literally just dough, baked half way until it puffs up, then topped with roasted red peppers, some of the oil they are stored in, salt and pepper, and grated Romano cheese, then baked the rest of the way. I make all my pizzas in a 550 degree preheated oven on a preheated cast iron skillet. I lack a pizza stone, but this works.)

Now that I have tried to make my roasted red pepper technique sound invaluable, on to my excuses. I do have an excuse for my long absence! Not that you're interested, but I have two: 1) I ran my second marathon. 2) I had to find and book a place to have my wedding next year.

The second was much more painful than the first, I assure you. The thought of giving up during the marathon never once crossed my mind, but Las Vegas sounded like a viable option some days as I e-mailed venue after venue and did endless calculations of rental+food+tax+....

I did learn a few food-related things from these distractions. First of all, sports jelly beans are much better than Gu. Trust me. Also, "crudite" is my least favorite word of all time. Caterers are always telling you about their crudite, like you're supposed to get excited about some carrot sticks and celery stalks. Puh-lease. Just because it's French doesn't mean it's impressive.

Roasted Red Peppers
Aunt Jenny taught me this, particularly the brown bag trick.

red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, or a combination
olive oil
garlic cloves
-Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil.
-Place the bell peppers, whole, on the cookie sheet and roast for five to ten minutes. Check often, and when the peppers start to char slightly, turn them. Continue until all the sides are withered and slightly charred.
-Remove the peppers from the oven and place in brown paper bag. Close the bag. (This will make it easier to remove the skins.
-Once the peppers have cooled, remove the skins, stems and seeds. Place the roasted peppers in a jar and cover with olive oil. Crush two to three garlic cloves (depending on amount of peppers and taste) and put them in the jar with the peppers. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Shake gently to combine, and store in the refrigerator.

These keep for about two weeks. But they rarely last that long.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Roasted red peppers are delicious and this looks like a super easy, tasty weeknight meal. As for wedding planning - good luck! let me know if I can help in any way!