Thursday, February 11, 2016


Bell peppers are an ingredient that I have used in a lot of my cooking for several years.  They come in a variety of colors and have a bold flavor.

Up until last year, I would simply chop them up and toss them in raw to whatever I was making that day and let them cook along with everything else.  For me, using bell peppers, main red and green, was more about adding color to a dish than anything else.  I am of the opinion that food that looks good manages to taste even better.

One of the methods for cooking with peppers that I had heard about for several years were roasted peppers, in particular, roasted red peppers.  But I would always steer clear of roasting red peppers as I always assumed that the process would add an unneeded amount of cooking time to a dish.

When I started taking my cooking more seriously in 2014 and was adamant about, "cooking for real", as I call it, I started to progress further into the culinary world and that meant trying new cooking methods that I had never tried before.

A Facebook friend posted a recipe with pictures for a pull apart pizza bread and it looked great and simple enough to make.  The recipe called for the most common pizza ingredients:  pizza dough, mozzarella and pepperoni.  I made the bread and it turned out phenomenal!  As per my norm, I posted the pictures and people gawked in amazement.  It turned out so perfect that I wanted to try again but with different ingredients.  That is when it was suggested to me to try one with goat cheese, spinach and roasted red peppers.

Red Peppers de-innarded and ready for broiling.

"Sounds like a great combination", I thought to myself.  "But ROASTED red peppers?  Do I go there?"  My hesitation was very brief as I was deep enough into my advancing culinary journey that I was more encouraged than discouraged to try new things.

I quickly went on Youtube and did a search for how to roast red peppers and not surprisingly, a great number of results came up.  I clicked on the first link, opened Wordpad as I assumed it would be a lengthy process and watched the lady in the video.

Four minutes later, the tutorial was over and my Wordpad document was blank.  Once again, I thought a certain cooking process was more complicated than it actually was.  There was nothing to note down.

After 15 minutes of broiling.  Looking good!  The charred black skin is what we want!

I quickly put on my shoes and ran to the supermarket across the street and bought the two best looking red peppers I could find.  I rushed home, watched the Youtube video one more time and made me some roasted red peppers!

I quickly realized that I had been missing out on some great flavors when I would simply cook with red peppers in their raw form.  Roasted red peppers are an entirely different world!  A lot more flavor and still colorful.  One week later, I made the pull apart pizza bread with goat cheese, spinach and roasted red peppers and to no surprise, it ROCKED!  Not only because of the roasted red peppers, but because I ended up discovering the awesomeness of another amazing new ingredient.....Goat Cheese!  (A lot more on goat cheese in the near future!)

Chopped and ready!  Add them to a dish or eat them as is.

Checkout this video on how to make roasted red peppers with Chef Nairby!  Educational and entertainmental!

Of course if you'd rather not watch the awesomeness of how to make roasted red peppers with Chef Nairby, you can follow these instructions:

Red Bell Peppers.
Baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or  glazed with a little bit of olive oil.
Plastic sandwich bag.

1.  Cut off the top and bottom of the red peppers.  Clean the insides out.
2.  Slice the peppers in half so you have two pieces.  Place them SKIN SIDE UP on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.
3.  Put tray on the top rack in the oven and BROIL for 15 minutes.  **Broiling is a lot like toasting bread in a toaster.  No pre-heating required as the heating grill starts heating right away.
4.  After 15 minutes, remove peppers from the oven.  If the skin is black, GOOD!  That's what you want.
5.  Put peppers in a sealed sandwich bag and store in fridge for 30 minutes to cool.  The peppers will marinate in the bag.  They will also get pretty slimy.  That's ok.
6.  Remove from fridge after 30 minutes and remove the skin.  The skin will peel off quite easily.  Chop and serve.

Grilled Goat Cheese And Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Fresh Chopped Dill!

Chef Nairby

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