Monday, August 2, 2010

Tutorial: How to make roasted bell peppers

I love roasted red bell peppers. They add such a unique flavor to food, and while you can buy them in the jar, you can very easily make them at home. The peppers for this tutorial were prepared on a grill, but I usually roast them under my broiler (it seems to go a bit faster under the broiler). I have a gas stove, but I've never blackened them over the flame; I should try that next.

Much of this technique I learned from my older sister, who says it's a combination of what she learned in a cooking class she took and something she learned from Martha Stewart. Wherever she learned it, I think it's the easiest way to prepare them. What I love most is the sweating/peeling part of this technique. The use of paper towels makes it so fast and easy! Every time I see instructions that say to peel them with your bare hands I think, "Why?" The peppers are hot and so messy--paper towels are definitely the way to go.

How To Make Roasted Bell Peppers

On the grill: Heat your grill to super hot (450-500 deg). Lay the peppers cross-wise to the bars on your grill grate and grill them on each side, turning the peppers with long-handled tongs, until the skin is blistered and blackened, 6-10 minutes on each side.

Under the broiler: Pre-heat your broiler on high. Set the peppers on a baking sheet that you've lined with foil. Broil on each side, turning the peppers with long-handled tongs, until the skin is blistered and blackened, 5-8 minutes on each side.

Immediately wrap each pepper in a couple paper towels and tie it up in it's own plastic grocery bag (See? Recycling.). Let the peppers sweat for 10-15 minutes, or until you're ready to peel them. My sister says she's let them sit for an hour or more and they've still peeled just fine.

One at a time, remove each pepper from it's sauna and use the paper towels to gently wipe the skin off. Notice I'm wearing latex gloves? I always have a box of latex gloves in my kitchen, they are one of my favorite gadgets ;) I wear gloves to peel the peppers because they are still pretty hot and I don't like getting the goop under my nails. OK, it's mostly because I don't like the goop.

Once the pepper is naked, gently pull out the stem...

...and pull the pepper open. At this point you can give them a quick rinse under water to get rid of the seeds, or not. My sister actually did a little "gasp" when I rinsed these. Apparently she doesn't rinse her peppers ;) You choose--I don't like the seeds.

Now you're free to do whatever you want with your delicious, freshly prepared roasted bell peppers. You can leave them in large pieces for sandwiches or burgers, or slice them like I did here (a baking sheet under your cutting board will keep the pepper juice from going all over your counter--blech!). Sliced peppers work great in wraps or salads or my sister's awesome Pasta with Roasted Peppers and Balsamic Chicken. I know, don't you want that recipe? No tears. It's coming.

Use the peppers right away or store them in a tightly lidded, plastic container in the fridge. I can't tell you how long they last because if I don't use them within a couple days, I usually freeze them. And there's no need to add any liquid to their storage container. As they sit they release juice that keep them moist and scrumptious.

Thanks, Crystal, for everything you've taught me! And thanks to my daughter, who wore the photographer-hat for this post. Love ya!


  1. I don't care for touching the goopy-ness either and gloves are a great idea. A chef I took some classes from said she would never rinse a roasted pepper because that washes away a lot of the flavor.

  2. Aah, so that's the clean way to do things. I just toss the pepper from one hand to the other muttering "hot, hot, hot". Next time, I'm using paper towels :)

  3. That sounds easy and looks quite delicious. I shall try it!!! Thanx

    1. Thanks for your comment--Good luck and enjoy! :)


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