There are too many prepared food items on our grocery shelves today designed for our convenience. If you took the time to set aside a few minutes of your meal preparation time, you could prepare many of them on your own. Not only could those few minutes of prep time be a lot of fun, quite often the end result is cheaper doing it yourself.
For example, have you ever checked out the price of a jar of roasted red peppers at the grocery store? I did a price comparison between the stores by my house and on average, a jar of roasted peppers is anywhere from $6.00 to $8.00 a jar. Roasting your own fresh peppers is half that amount, plus, you know what ingredients you are using – just the peppers and not any of the preservatives used in the liquid of the jarred version.
You can roast the peppers on a grill over the open flame or in your oven under the broiler. It’s super easy; they smell great while they cook, and it’s one of the rare times when it’s okay to burn something while you’re cooking!
1) Wash the peppers and keep whole.
2) If using the grill, place the peppers directly over the flames on the grill grate. If using the oven, place the peppers on a foil-lined baking pan and place directly under the broiler in the oven.
3) Roast the peppers for 8-10 minutes per side, turning the peppers as they char until they are charred on all sides. Don’t worry about burning the peppers. The char like what is shown in the picture above is exactly what you would want to see.
4) Once the peppers have reached the level of char you want, remove them from the heat and place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the peppers steam for 20-30 minutes.
5) After the 30 minutes, remove the peppers from the bowl and peel off the skins. At this point, the peels should slide off easily.
6) Once the peels are removed, slice open the peppers, remove the seeds and membrane and slice/chop as needed. You can store any unused roasted peppers in the fridge for up to a week.
Just a Few Suggested uses:
1) Puree the peppers and make a pot of Fire-Roasted Poblano and Red Pepper Bisque that I posted on March 13, 2015.
2) Slice them up and make an anti-pasta appetizer with cured sliced meats, olives, hard cheeses and artichoke hearts.
3) Chop them up and add them as a pizza topping.
4) Slice them and add them to a sandwich.
5) Blend them with cream cheese and make a roasted red pepper dip.