Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MoFo 16: Roasted Bell Peppers

It always happens to me, that some time in the middle of winter, I crack open a cookbook and decide I really want to make some recipe that calls for bell peppers, or corn, or fresh tomatoes... or some other non-seasonal goodie. A few years back, I started stocking my freezer with corn kernels from the middle of summer - but somehow it never occurred to me to tackle bell peppers!

Last year one of my friends mentioned that she always roasted a whole bunch of peppers for the winter - and the idea stuck with me. These days, our farmers market is a veritable SEA of peppers - bell peppers in every color, poblanos, padron peppers, jalepenos, and many more peppers I haven't ever tried out. It's beautiful and overwhelming! I've been buying as many peppers as we can possibly eat - and enjoying them greatly - but I figured this is the time to stock up.

So, I washed and halved all my peppers, and laid them out on my biggest cookie sheet. It took two batches to do them all.

Then I broiled them on high until the skins were black and blistered. I should have pressed the pepper halves flatter on the cookie sheet - because you can see out they were much more roasted on the tops, which were closer to the burners, and much less roasted on the sides. I'll do it differently next time. After roasting, I piled them all in my big Pyrex bowl to continue softening. I've found that it's easier to peel off the skins if you let them sit for a little while.

Once they had cooled down enough, I peeled off as much of the skins as possible. In "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," Deborah Madison says that rinsing is the easiest way to remove the skins, but that you'll also lose lots of flavor. So, I stuck with it and did it the hard way. But man, that is a pretty tiresome part of the project, to be sure.

Once they were all peeled, they were laid out on my cookie sheet, between layers of waxed paper, and then popped in the freezer. This morning I transferred them all to a big ziplock bag. It's pretty exciting to think of all this peppery goodness being with me for the winter!

Do you do any canning or freezing for the winter months?

This is me basking in the glory of my own homesteading smugness

12 comments:

  1. Yum! I need to do the same thing. Did you try putting a plate over the bowl while they steamed? Help loosen the skin so easier peeling.

    xo
    kittee

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  2. This is a great idea! Big bell peppers aren't really grown around here, so they're expensive all through the year, but I love the thought of having roasted ones handy at all times!

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  3. wow! what a fantastic idea! i love roasted bell peppers and never thought to make a huge batch. definitely inspiring ;)

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  4. Such a great idea, I like to have a few roasted red peppers around to make my favourite mac & cheese. (This one! http://www.craftyearthmama.com/2011/10/best-ever-vegan-mac-n-cheese.html)

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  5. If you put the roasted peppers in a paper bag (like a lunch sack) and close it up for about 10 minutes the skins will practically fall off when you go to peel them.

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  6. Only jams and chutneys. And spiced booze - does that count?

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  7. Why have I never thought of this? I’m always buying the bottled roasted peppers out of sheer laziness, but it never crossed my mind to just roast a big batch and freeze them. I’m learning so much during Mofo.

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  8. What a great idea! I love skinless peppers. There's something about that freaky thin skin that I do not like at all. If they are chopped it's OK, but strips of peppers or stuffed peppers with the skin/film on freak me out! It sure looks like it was a lot of work to peel all those suckers! Who's industrious now?! :D

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  9. What a great idea! I really don't like the store-bought roasted peppers. Imma go make my own!

    I don't can too much but we made a bunch of chocolate raspberry sauce when berries were in season and then I made some vanilla extract recently. Both were 100% amazing ;)

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  10. Is it me or were there more colors of bell peppers at the market this year? Yellow, orange, red, green, multi color and oh man, those purple ones. I don't even like bell peppers that much and this year I bought so freaking many.

    Also, this is an awesome idea.

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  11. Been meaning to do this for year. sigh. maybe next year!

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