Roast your own - FamilyEducation

Roast your own

September 16,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

I love roasted red peppers. I love them because they are sweet, very healthy, and an easy way to add flavor, color and zing to otherwise not so zing-y things. But now that I am a mom, I also love roasted red peppers because they are so stinkin’ easy to hide in things my kids will eat. Things like pastas, pizzas, tacos and lasagna all get a flavor and health boost from roasted peppers. Have you ever tried roasting your own peppers? It is super easy and the taste is superior to anything jarred (though I love the jarred peppers for convenience sake). But before I take you through the steps of roasting a good pepper, please, I repeat PLEASE do not wash or rinse your pepper to remove the skin after it has been roasted. I’ll get to the “why” in a minute, but first, the easy peasy three step roasting process: 1. Wash, dry and core your pepper, remembering to carefully remove the seeds and veins. Flatten them, skin side up on a baking sheet line with foil and place under your broiler for about 15 minutes or until they look like this: 2. Using hot pads, immediately seal up the peppers, making a little foil packet that is completely sealed: 3. Let the peppers get all steamed and happy in their packet for a good bit…say, 10 minutes or more. The steam in the packet will further loosen the skins of the peppers and when you unwrap the peppers, the skins will easily slide off with your fingers and leave you with this: Now why am I so adamant that you do not rinse the peppers to remove the skin? First and foremost, the roasting creates a sweet caramelization to the peppers that is easily rinsed off with the skin. Second, it just isn’t necessary and even if a bit or two of the skin stays on, your peppers will be just fine. After peeling the skin, you can use them for any ole’ use, or store them for a couple days in your fridge. SPC