In preparation for making Green Enchiladas later in the week, I decided to give roasting my own peppers a try. I have to admit, that even by my standards, the directions in Simply in Season are sketchy at best.
“Roasted peppers can be expensive to buy but are very easy to make,” Mary from West Virginia writes. “When peppers are in abundance, roast some and freeze for later use. One way to do this is in freezer boxes, separating the layers with waxed paper.”
The ingredients for this “recipe?” peppers (sweet or hot, any color).
The directions state to roast whole peppers under broiler or over a gas flame, turning frequently until the skin blackens. Um, OK, but I have never used the broiler in my stove and I unfortunately do not have a gas flame. Maybe a blowtorch would work? OK, let’s come back to that.
The second step is to “remove from heat and put in a bag or covered pot to allow the pepper to steam and cool. Then rub or wash off the blackened skin. Remove the stem and seeds. Use in any recipe calling for roasted peppers.”
OK, the second part I get. But what to do . . .
Google is our friend. I quickly found alternate directions at GourmetSleuth. So I set the peppers on a cookie sheet and set them in my oven, preheated to 450 degrees.
After about 5 minutes, which is how long they say to roast them, I turned on the oven light so I could look and see what the little peppers were doing. Not much. So I kept watching, and they seemed to come alive right in front of my eyes. They turned a little, expanded and contracted. Still no blisters, though, and I was watching carefully so they didn’t burn. Which is kind of odd, since the SiS directions WANTED you to blacken then. Oh well. Then after they all started writhing, I noticed that most of their skins were turning wrinkly. I thought “this is it!” I still was wondering if they should be more blackened, more “blistered,” whatever that was. But then one tried to escape by jumping off the cookie sheet, and another exploded. Wow. I guess they’re done.
So then I put them in a Ziploc freezer baggie. (Not as environmentally friendly as a paper bag or a pot, but since I’ll be using it to store them in later I figured it was OK.) And waited the 10 minutes for them to “sweat.”
I should probably state at this point that you should wear rubber gloves when dealing with hot peppers. Unfortunately I didn’t have any so I decided to risk it.
After about 10 minutes, I put them in a strainer and ran them under cold water for awhile. There were only a few blacked spots, so I decided not to rub them off (several of the sites mentioned that you can keep some on to add flavor). I returned them to their bag, and put in the refrigerator, so they could cool completely. On Tuesday when I make my enchiladas I’ll stem/seed them all. They smelled completely yummy though! Watch for the enchilada recipe to find out how they taste.
Update: OK, I’ve done some more investigating online, and am finding conflicting information. Some sites say you should NEVER make roasted peppers in an oven. Others give much longer times for roasting them. I’m not too worried, as the ones I made are being roasted for a sauce and will end up in a food processor anyway, but if you are looking for something a bit more gourmet, you might want to check this tutorial out:
And please, if you have any advice, please post in the comment section!