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Archive for February 7th, 2010

This fall, much later than I’d hoped, I ended up with an abundance of all sorts of peppers and very little time to process them.  Instead, I washed them and popped them in freezer bags, hoping for the best.  Now I’m happily using them in all sorts of recipes.  Some of the thin-walled peppers, like sweet marconis and mildly hot Hatches, seem to work best sliced in recipes that use stir-frying, like fajitas and Asia recipes as well as Italian sausage with peppers and onions.  You don’t need to do anything to them other than slicing and seeding but toss them straight in a pan.  The hotter, thicker-walled jalapenos stand up well to flame roasting, straight out of the freezer.  Flame roasting requires a gas stovetop (or other open, accessible flame), but I’ll give a broiler method too.

Begin by giving the frozen peppers a rinse.  Now remove the pot rest from the stove top and get out metal tongs.  Turn on the burner, and position the pepper in the flame using your tongs.

Keep turning the pepper . . .

until it’s charred all over–but not burned through!

This is what the pepper should look like.  Pathetic, isn’t it?Immediately cover the pepper and let it sit for a few minutes.

Now you’ll be able to rub off the char easily.  You can rinse the pepper afterwards, but not everyone feels that need.  Now you can seed the pepper and use it for jalapeno poppers or chili or fajitas or even szechuan stir fry.Pardon the blur!

Broiler method: Begin by pre-heating the broiler.  We want to char the outsides of the peppers, not cook the whole thing, and a hot broiler to start is crucial.  Pre-heat your pan too.  Now lightly grease the pan and place peppers to be roasted and skinned on the pan and under the broiler.  Keep a close eye on the peppers, turning to get even charring.  When they are charred all over (this will take just a few minutes), take them out and put them in a covered container.  Then remove char as indicated above.  The results aren’t quite as good as using open flame because the peppers will cook a bit more, but they’ll still work for most recipes.  This method is also much faster if you have several peppers to char.

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