Tag Archives: roasting

Roasted Red Peppers

1 Dec

Making roasted red peppers at home is super easy. Before I learned this simple technique, I would spend upwards of 3 to 4 dollars on a small jar of roasted red peppers at the grocery store. I know that buying red bell peppers in the produce department isn’t exactly cheap, but if you can get them in bulk at the farmer’s market, making your own roasted red peppers is the way to go.

Give your peppers a good wash and heat the oven to 375. Toss the peppers in a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the skins are starting to brown and blister. This same technique can be used on any type of pepper and is particularly fantastic when roasting poblano peppers and jalapeños. So now you have the hot peppers and what do you do with them? Well the easiest thing is to transfer them to a glass bowl (using tongs of course) and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to cool to room temperature and then gently separate the skin and seeds from the flesh. Once the pepper is peeled, it’s ready to use.

I like to use mine is all different ways. This afternoon I sliced a few up and then tossed them into linguini and broccoli rabe. They are fantastic on a sandwich, with grilled chicken, provolone and arugula. You can also swirl these bad boys into soup and toss into a salad. But one of my very favorite ways of using roasted red peppers is in romesco sauce.

Romesco sauce is a traditional Spanish sauce or dip that is similar to pesto. All you have to do is puree 1 roasted red pepper with 1 tablespoon of almonds, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/2 clove of garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Serve this as a dip for vegetables, or chips. It’s also great on pasta, mixed into mashed potatoes or polenta and as a topping on steak or fish. Honestly, how many sauces work on both fish and steak?

Next time you’re looking for a simple way to save and a great ingredient to spice things up, try roasting your own peppers.

Always thinking of the next meal,


The Versatility of Roasted Chicken

21 Oct

IMG_0901There are many basic techniques that can aid one in their quest for ultimate kitchen enlightenment, however, I think that the technique for roasting a chicken is the secret key to conquest.

There are 3 main components to the perfect roasted chicken.

1. Chicken

2. Heat

3. Time

First, the chicken. What size you need is determined by how many people you are planning on feeding. If you assume that each person will eat between 1/4 and 1/2 pounds of chicken, you would want to buy a bird accordingly. If you are only feeding 2 people you might want to consider purchasing cornish game hens. The hens tend to be a bit gamier in flavor, but the roasting technique is the same. For the sake of an example I’ll use a 5 pound bird. Make sure that you note the packaging so that you know if you should be looking for a paper treasure in the chicken. It’s not a crisis if you leave the giblet in the chicken during roasting, but you are losing some of the tastiest bits to make gravy with.

Element 2: the heat. Heat is a bit relative depending on the size of the bird and if you want the skin crispy. Crispy skin is a great debate in my house. No one really eats it, but it does look beautiful when it comes out of the oven. So, the question to me in not so much about skin, but about moist delicious meat. Oh yes, I’d love both and I most certainly strive for both, but I’ll take great moist chicken meat over crispy skin any day.

With my chicken I start with the oven at 400 degrees and let it cook for 45 minutes. Then I turn the temperature down to 350 and allow it to cook for another 30 minutes. This addresses the third element, time. This is a relative cooking time as every chicken is different. For the 5 pound chicken tis would be approximately the right time, but the only way to know if you chicken is cooked through is to use a thermometer and make sure that it has reached 165 degrees. You can take it out of the oven at 155 degrees if you want since there will be some carry over cooking.

So know you have this delicious, freshly cooked chicken (or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) what do you do with it? Well eating it with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans is a good start, but the possibilities are endless. Chicken tacos, chicken salad, stir fried chicken, BBQ chicken pizza are on the top of my list. Here’s my recipe for chicken salad:

Chicken Salad
serves 2

1/2 pound diced chicken
3 tablespoons light mayo
1/4 cup red grapes, quartered
1/8 cup celery, small diced
2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve on toasted wheat bread with romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes

Always thinking of the next meal