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Wednesday
Sep122012

Fancy Roasted Peppers to Bring Summer into Fall

You may recall that I posted a Roasted Pepper recipe on this website a while back. What you may not have known is that post generated a lot of buzz. Who was I to roast a pepper? What did I know about a roasted pepper? And the, "my roasted peppers are better than yours," argument.

Huh.

Well, I am here to tell you that, YES, someone's roasted peppers are better than mine. 

Now, let's be clear: I roast a mean pepper. This recipe is more about what's done to the little guys AFTER the roasting. And of this process, I heartily approve.

What follows is Vicki Hartmann's recipe for Marinated Roasted Peppers and it's fantastic. 

Vicki is a long time family friend, neighbor and expert pepper-preneur. We had a little shin-dig at the Iaciofano Shore HQ over Labor Day weekend. Vicki brought her peppers. 

I immediately dove in, placing them atop little nuggets of Italian bread like so:

I almost walked away with the whole dish. I was that impressed. 

I harassed her for the recipe, and in true expert fashion, there really isn't one. What I'm presenting to you is "General Guidelines" for Vicki's peppers. As usual with all recipes I post here, approach with caution, safety goggles and open expectations. Here we go:

What You Need:
A red pepper (or two or three....this recipe is for 4-5 large peppers)
A plastic Ziploc bag or paper bag
Garlic powder (amount up to you)
Black Pepper (amount up to you)
Sea Salt (amount up to you)
Balsamic Vinegar (a lot) 
Olive oil (a lot) 

What To Do:
Heat up your oven to 500 degrees.

Rinse your peppers under water, and dry it off. Rub it with a thin coating of olive oil and place it on a cookie sheet on the top most rack of your oven.

Bake. Until black char marks start to appear on the outside and skin gets all wrinkly. This could take about 10 minutes. Or so. You be the judge. 

Put the wrinkly, charred veggies in a Ziploc or paper bag. The steam from the peppers will cause them to wilt. After about 10-15 minutes in the bag, you can get brave and open it up. They should be cool enough to pluck off the green stem and peel off the skin.

Then slice them up into thin strips and discard the seeds, skin and stem.

Place these strips into a large bowl. Douse them with olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup), sprinkle with sea salt (maybe 1 teaspoon) and black pepper (1/4 teaspoon) and garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon).

Then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. How much? I wish I could tell you. Let's say 1/8 of a cup to start.

Take a stirring implement and mix it all up. Then repeat the seasoning process. That's right, DO IT AGAIN!

Now what? Let these peppers rest. Let  them think about what they've just been through. They need to regroup and so do you. So put them to the side. For a few hours, for the day...they only get better with time – just like you.

In the meantime, go get some bread. Buy two loaves. Or just polish up your fork as you might as well dig right into the pepper bowl. Do it. I won't tell.

Thank you to Vicki for her peppers and her "general instructions." I had a fantastic summer this year, and though it's not technically over, it feels like fall has arrived. Here are a few fun beach shots to say farewell...

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