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Roasting Peppers and Chiles

Many recipes these days call for roasting bell peppers or chiles before using.  You can often get away with using unroasted, but the roasting process really brings about a change in flavor that is quite dramatic.  I know many people that don't usually care for green peppers, but love them roasted.

To roast peppers or chiles you need to char them with an open flame, such as a broiler, or high direct heat, usually an outdoor grill.  The following method works great using your oven broiler.

Cut the peppers in half vertically and remove the stem and seeds.  Place the pepper halves skin side up on a non-stick baking sheet (or one coated with cooking spray) and, using the palm of your hand, press down on the pepper to flatten it out (cutting the pepper halves in half again is also an option.)  The idea is to expose as much of the skin as possible the flames.

Place the baking sheet under the broiler.  Keep an eye on them because once they begin to blacken things happen quickly.  As they blacken in one area rotate them to another area of the pan to ensure the peppers are getting equal exposure.

When they have blackened over most of the surface of the pepper (about 10-15 minutes) remove them, place them in large bowl, and cover and seal with plastic wrap.  You may also place them in a paper bag and close the top tightly.  The idea here is to allow the heat and moisture from the hot peppers to create steam in the container, which makes them easy to peel.

Allow them to sit, steaming, for about 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove the peppers, peel off the skin and, voila!  Roasted peppers.

 

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