Friday, September 10, 2010
The window is rapidly closing. You know, the incredibly brief but intense window of time during which peppers are ripe and ready for the fixin'. Here in Western Washington it feels like we have half a millisecond to stock up and scarf down as many peppers as we possibly can.
Luckily we have Tonnemaker Hill Farm to aid us in our annual "Peppermania". These folks over in Royal City, WA (don't worry, I don't know where that is either) grow 140 different varieties of peppers. One - hundred - and - forty. I just looked up that statistic on their website, and I've gotta say... Holy shit! They definitely have a LOT of peppers at the farmers market, but 140 different varieties? That's unbelievable. Not only that, but they also sell many of their organic pepper varieties dried at the end of the season. I've been crushing my own cayenne for the past year and absolutely loving it!
Every Saturday when I hit up the farmers market, I get a glimmer in my eyes and a little drool on my lips (psychosis?), and I haul ass over to the "Pepper People" to load up for the week.
Oh, they have red ones, green ones, yellow ones, purple ones. Sweet ones, spicy ones, burn-your-face-off-hot ones. We love the Pepper People. And we treasure their peppers.
I put them in enchiladas.
I love to stuff them with cheeses and beans.
I made this sandwich spread from roasted peppers just a few weeks ago.
And that brings me to the real reason for this rambling rant about peppers. Roasting. It is my new favorite thing. It's hard to believe that I had never charred and removed the skin of a pepper until just several weeks ago. I found the idea daunting. I completely avoided recipes that called for roasting peppers. What was I afraid of?
It is the easiest thing to do. I'd say a child could do it, but there is the whole oven safety thing to consider, so instead I'll say - You could do it. You should, in fact. The flavor of the pepper is enhanced, elevated, to the realm of unearthliness. It's really freakin' tasty, people. So go, get a pepper, crank that oven broiler up, and get to roastin'!
makes as many peppers as you feel like roasting
peppers (any variety)
Preheat your oven's broiler with the oven rack at the very top.
Place your peppers on a baking sheet, drizzle a little oil (maybe 1 tsp. per pepper, depending on their size) over the peppers, and rub around to completely coat the skin.
Place the pan and peppers on the top rack of the oven and allow to roast. Make sure you check on them every few minutes. Once the top side of a pepper has begun to blacken and bubble and char, turn it with tongs to expose another side.
Continue with the blacken-and-turn method until all of the sides are mostly charred. Remove peppers from the oven.
Place the peppers in a glass or metal bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let them steam for about 10 minutes.
The skin will be separated from the pepper flesh and will peel off easily. Cut off the stems and take out the seeds.
Congrats! You now have peppers, roasted to perfection.
What are your favorite ways to use roasted peppers?