Thursday, September 01, 2005

Celebrity Roast

I've been trying to challenge myself culinarily this year, what with trying new recipes and making up new recipes and trying new techniques. So it was that last evening I tried my hand at roasting peppers for the first time.

I had picked up some lovely little dark red sweet peppers (organic!) at the farmers' market a week and a half ago, mainly for a recipe that I ended up not making (at least not exactly as written). But since there were so many of these sweet little things in a pint basket (the largest was perhaps 3" long), and I tend not to eat much sweet pepper since I'm not overly keen on it, I thought I would try roasting them (since I do like them roasted) and packing them into a jar.

So, after about 20 minutes in a 400 F oven, I took out the blistered peppers and tossed them into a plastic bag (as the recipe stated) so that they could "sweat" a bit before I peeled them. (I turned my attention to dinner prep while this occurred; more on that in a bit.)

It's a funny experience, peeling roasted peppers. The skin comes off like a thin sheet of plastic (just like I used to peel off notebook covers during my school days), leaving you with warm, succulently red and soft pepper flesh. While I tried to be as neat as possible at first, eventually I decided that my hands could get as messy as they liked because I just couldn't resist handling the peppers and appreciating their silky warmth.

Of course, since all the peppers were so small, I didn't fill a jar with them, but I did toss in a couple peeled cloves of garlic and two bay leaves before covering the lot with organic extra-virgin olive oil and putting the capped jar into the refrigerator.

I think it would not be immodest of me to say that it's really quite a gorgeous collection of colors and flavors sitting in that jar. And though I'm not sure yet how I'll use the peppers, I'm sure I'll come up with something.

And it will be stellar!


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