Monday, June 16, 2014

Marinated Red Bell Peppers

I am a sucker for anything pickled or preserved, and I'm a sucker for my grandmother's cooking She serves these marinated red peppers at dinner nearly every night. These peppers are a nice tangy, garlicky, accompaniment to any meal. I really like them alongside fish or chicken. They would make a great topping for a hot dog on the 4th of July.

I use white vinegar in the recipe because that's what my grandmother uses. I've only changed the recipe slightly, and next time I make these I'll try them out with red wine vinegar. Also, my grandmother usually makes these with a mixture of red and orange peppers. I picked up some lovely red peppers at the farmer's market, but I didn't see any orange ones. Use what you have. Green peppers will not taste as good because they are not as sweet. According to Baba, the exact measurements aren't important, and this recipe is as simple as something roasted and marinated can get.

As I mentioned, these guys are tangy AND garlicky. If you're not into garlic, skip it or add less. If you just started dating someone and you are making that person dinner for the first time, maybe don't serve them this recipe for that meal. Actually, do serve them this recipe. Garlic breath is cancelled out when both people have it. Just make sure you both eat the peppers.

Marinated Red Bell Peppers with Garlic

3-4 large red (or orange) bell peppers
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
3-4 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Lay your peppers out on a foil or parchment lined sheet tray or baking dish. Poke a few holes in each pepper with a small knife, so that the peppers can let out steam as they cook. Place the peppers in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until blackened, softened, and until the skin gets wrinkly and starts to peel off. It helps to flip the peppers over halfway through the cooking process.

Once cooked, transfer the peppers to a clean paper bag and let them continue to steam and then cool for 20-30 minutes.You can use a plastic bag, but I prefer paper. Sometimes, I'm too impatient to let the peppers steam and then also cool, and I try to peel the peppers while they're hot and have barely steamed. This is dumb on my part. 1) They're harder to peel. 2) They're super hot. Patience is helpful here.

Over a bowl, peel the peppers. If any juice escapes while you are peeling the peppers, save the juice. It is gold. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers. Again, do this over a bowl or a plate and reserve any juices that have collected inside the pepper.

Slice the peeled peppers into strips. Add the peppers to the bowl of their reserved juices. Add the sliced garlic, peppercorns, salt and sugar to the peppers. Mix them about with your fingers. Cover the peppers with white vinegar. Add the olive oil. Let the peppers marinate overnight before serving. You can also transfer the peppers and their liquids to the jar and store them in that. Peppers will keep (but won't last) for 7-10 days.

Serve as a side salad to any savory meal. Or eat them on their own straight out of the bowl/jar.


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  3. I love the way you write about peppers, and the recipe itself, and how to make it, and about your ways of doing and liking things. Awesome!