6/17/10

No need to complicate recipes!

Today, I was in a bit of a rush to get the bell peppers into the oven (we're about to make roasted red pepper hummus) while the chickpeas were simmering away. I totally forgot to oil them on the outside, and I forgot to set the oven temperature to a higher one (it's at 350F by default), and scuttled off to get to the rest of the stuff on my list. I set the timer for 30 minutes (because any time something goes into the oven, please please PLEASE set yourself a timer, so that you don't end up with a kitchen fire), and dashed off to handle other things. I come back later, after making a few other things that were running low to a lovely smell. I opened the oven, and to my horror, saw the lower temperature (at home, I usually roast peppers at 450F, and oil them), and saw the little dish of oil sitting to the side, completely undisturbed. My heart sunk into my stomach, and I opened the oven doors.

Not only were the peppers not sticking and making a mess, but they were also getting that beautiful dark dark brown colour that means that they're getting a proper roast. However, since they weren't roasted completely, with the skin pillowing away from the flesh like it should, I heaved a sigh of relief and let them go for another 10 or 15 minutes. When I pulled the baking sheet out of the oven, those peppers were roasted to perrrrrrrfection, and they didn't stick to anything.

Who knew!

In other words, the next time you're baking something in the oven that requires a long sit-in, like a lasagna or casserole, just throw some bell peppers (whole, with no oil, parchment paper or any other kind of silly fuss) on a cookie sheet, and shut the door. 45 minutes later, you'll have perfectly roasted bell peppers, which you just cover loosely with foil or a big dish, or whatever else you have handy. That way, the skins steam themselves away from the flesh, and become super easy to peel. Then, when the peppers are all seeded and peeled and ready, you throw on some olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper, any herbs you have lying around, and EAT!

Throw them between two slices of thick, crusty bread, with some fresh tomato slices for a lovely sandwich. Throw them atop a pizza for a beautiful and tasty topping. Throw them into hummus. Throw them on salad. Do anything you can to eat those peppers, because they're not only tasty, but they're healthy for you too.

There's absolutely no reason to just bake one thing at a time. It wastes electricity (or, if you're lucky enough to have a gas stove, gas), and heats up your house for no reason. If you have a few fridge staples, like bell peppers, garlic, or other such things, you are always prepared for a delicious addition to any meal.
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