Pepper Roasting

A few peppers in the roaster.
We celebrated the Fall Equinox by traveling up to visit our friends at Bear Creek Farm near Osceola, Missouri, and roasting baskets of peppers. Robbins gathered about a half bushel of their sweet New Mexico peppers. I also took a few Hatch peppers, those sweet ones that Hatch, New Mexico is famous for, along with some of my Sugar Chilies from home.
Everyone took a turn with the roaster.
It takes only about 10 minutes to roast 5 lbs of peppers. With the flame turned up high, the pepper skins immediately start popping and sizzling. As the peppers turn over the fire, most of the charred skin falls through the bottom of the cylinder onto the ground. It's easy work and fun, too.
Scraping away the remaining skins.
While it's not necessary to remove all the charred pepper skins, we decided to give it a try. The charred skin flavor is actually good and adds a smoky flavor to dishes. But it was fun seeing how clean we could get the peppers. At the same time we removed the stem top, which also pulled out some of the seeds. The seeds can just as easily be left in.
Roasted, skinned peppers, draining.
Shown above is about half of the peppers we roasted. The roaster makes quick work of the peppers and even cleaning off the remaining skins is pretty fast. What we learned after we'd done the scraping, was, putting them in a pan of water makes it easy to simply wash away the skins and is less work than scraping. But it was all quite pleasant and at the end of about an hour, we had enough roasted peppers to fill several gallon zip-plastic bags. Today they'll be laid out on cookie sheets over waxed paper and frozen. Once frozen, they'll be stacked in zip bags where they will keep in the freezer for many months. Of course they're so tasty they'll never last that long!
Sugar Chilies, ready for roasting.
And what does one do with roasted peppers, you may ask? Here are a few ways we use them. Instead of freezing the peppers, cut  up the roasted peppers, put them in a jars and cover with olive oil; they will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Use them like you would any canned pimentos. Roll strips of roasted peppers around small pieces of cream cheese, then roll the whole thing in thinly-sliced ham, slice in bite sizes and run a toothpick through each slice and serve as appetizers.

Add chopped, roasted peppers in scrambled eggs. I like to lay slices of roasted pepper on a sandwich, with some avocado, tomato, some cheese and toast it. Or, my favorite way is to use one or two roasted peppers in my morning burrito (which includes a bit of sausage, some onion, fresh sweet or hot pepper, even a bit of summer squash, all cooked with some taco seasoning and rolled in a tortilla. That's my favorite breakfast!
My favorite breakfast burrito.
You've read me say before I make lots of hot sauce from the 40+ varieties of peppers I grow. Roasted peppers, whether fresh or frozen, are a perfect ingredient for making hot sauce. If you want to make your own hot sauce, you can order my book, Make Your Own Hot Sauce, from my website.

After the pepper roasting, we ate bowls of chili for supper. We all put some of our chopped up, freshly roasted peppers in our chili. It was just about a perfect first day of the fall season!

1 comment:

Cathy Rose said...

What a great way to spend the first day of fall! So a couple of questions...
Did they make that pepper roaster themselves or is something like that available?
Can you process and can roasted peppers or is it better to freeze them?