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roasting peppers (and thickening salad dressings)

When I make roasted peppers, I use the pepper juice in salad dressings
as an oil replacement.

For those who have never tried roasting peppers, it's really easy but
a little messy and I think the peppers are much better than the kind
you can buy in the store.

1. Buy a few colorful peppers (red, orange, yellow are good. I don't
   like roasting green ones.) Right now, you can buy a six-pack at
   Costco. For the cooking part, one pepper is just as easy to do as
   six and you can freeze the excess in freezer ziploc bags.

2. Turn oven to at least 450F or 500 F. (Use convection here if you
   have it. You are looking to totally burn the skin. For easier
   cleaning, put a layer of foil over cookie sheet. Deep sided pans
   are not as good here. I like using jelly roll type pans that have a
   small edge. Spray foil with cooking spray because you will need to
   turn the peppers to blacken all sides.

3. Put peppers on pan with some space between them. If your peppers
   can stand up, that will work better since you won't need to turn
   them as often. Burn them until the skins are almost entirely
   black. (If you have extra room in the oven, you can also roast
   foil-wrapped garlic or potatoes since you've got your oven cranked
   up.) The cooking peppers smell like....burning food but don't let
   that bother you. The smell will go away.

4. Remove from oven and use a spatula or large spool to put them into
   a large mixing bowl (Use glass or stainless steel bowl or even a
   saucepan works in a pinch.) Don't worry if the peppers tear
   open. You can pour any juice into a different bowl for straining
   later if you are planning to save the juice. Cover with a pot cover
   or plastic wrap. Let sit about 5-10 minutes to steam a little. This
   will help loosen the skin. If you let them sit for an hour, like I
   once did, the blackened skin darkens the pepper inside. So if you
   want bright-colored roasted peppers, don't let them sit too long.

5. Here's the messy part. Hold the pepper over a bowl (use the one
   holding the juice if you are saving it.)
   You are going to peel the black skin off the peppers and remove the
   seeds and core. The bowl helps to
   a. catch the juice which can be strained to remove seeds and pepper
   b. catch good pieces of pepper in case the one you are peeling
      starts to come apart.

   Some people suggest holding the peppers under running water to help
   remove the skin. The argument against this is that the peppers will
   taste better if you don't wash away the juice that coats them.

   If you've cooked and covered them right, the pepper skin can be
   pulled off easily. If it makes it easier, you can try lightly
   wiping pieces with a paper towel.If you do it over a bowl, you can
   save the juice (and strain it) for use in salad dressings, sauces,
   or soups. It's sweet and slightly thick so I like to use it as an
   oil replacement for salad dressings. Who knows, it might also be
   good to include in a marinade.

   What to do with all these peppers?
   1. Add to salads, sandwiches
   2. puree and spice it up for a dip or sandwich spread
   3. Add to pasta sauce
   4. Use as a filling in pasta or lasagna
   5. Put on pizza