What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bell Pepper Confetti

You can get those wonderful multi-colored peppers everywhere these days, and at any time of the year, reasonably priced, at Costco and Sams as well as regular grocery stores, at time. We love them for roasting, alone or with other vegetables, served as a side, over pasta, on a vegetable panini, on pizza,etc. etc. There are tons of things we do with them fresh or cooked, but that's another subject for another day. We love new recipe ideas for foods, especially when you buy something with no recipe in mind, have not gotten around to using them and they (tsk, tsk!) might just go bad if you don't come up with something soon.

We had a copy of Thomas Keller's, The French Laundry cookbook purchased as a gift, still bound in shrink wrap. In was in our vehicle, gift-wrapped, for months (okay, sometimes we overlook something). We finally opened it, removed the shrink-wrap, and scanned through it (honestly after reading an egullet series on this book). The first thing that struck us was the bell pepper confetti. His recipe called for microwaving the pepper: peel, remove the cores, veins and seeds and slice 1/16th",lay very flat and micro-wave 12-15 minutes. We tried it twice, once 10 minutes, once seven and both times it was too brown. We returned to our ususal method of drying and it worked great. We lined a flat pan with parchment, sprayed very, very lightly with olive oil spray and lined the peppers, laying very flat, on the parchment.
bell pepper sliced
We heated them in a 180 degree convection oven for about an hour. They shrink a lot.
oven dried
We cooled them and sliced the strips into bits and stored in a zip-lock bag. They retained their color and their flavor was concentrated, like oven-dried tomatoes.
diced oven dried
They add flavor to a dish as well as an incredibly attractive plate or dish garnish. We have to admit, the only peppers we have ever peeled were roasted, so this seemed like a stretch. However, we tried it with both a vegetable peeler and a paring knife; those red, yellow and orange peppers that come in 6-packs are thick and it really isn't that much trouble. Yummy and Beautiful! Give them a try.

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Eat tasty food, present it creatively and enjoy it with your friends!



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