I woke up early this morning after spending the first half of the night singing Bohemian Rhapsody with some friends at a bar in Newark NJ where the bartender made the unfortunate decision to play one of the most sing along friendly songs ever made. Blame Wayne’s World. The latter part of the evening I spent tearing apart my collection of cook books for some inspiration for our menu project for school. Finally we get to have some input on the dishes we make, and of course that means the countless options are racking at my brain.
For now I will bask in my day off and take part in a few autumn friendly activities which include running around in my fall attire and new leather jacket that still has that wonderful new leather smell. I’d like to bottle up that smell and keep it in my pocket along with the smell of fresh apple cider and apple cider donuts and the smell of the brisk breeze of the Hudson Valley. Too picky? I’m sure someone has that obscure perfume somewhere. Apple picking is on the agenda, and maybe some pumpkin picking as well. Frankly I’m so tired of the daily city commute that I would like nothing more than to stand à la Captain Morgan, chewing on a strand of wheat like a Jersey farmer girl overseeing her crops. Picking someone else’s crops will do for now.
Bottling produce is another activity that comes along with the changing of the leaves. All the extra produce we find in our garden will soon go to waste, or die in the colder weather, if we don’t cook them and preserve for later. This is exactly why we bottled a whole bunch of sweet red peppers. They also come in handy in Spanish cooking where we use any excuse to pile on a roasted pepper de morron.
Roasted Sweet Red Peppers
6 Red Bell Peppers (number of your choice)
You can roast red peppers a number of ways. The way I chose to roast them this time is on top of the stove, crackling the skin on the flame of the burner. This requires a pair of tongs that allows you to turn the peppers around so all sides get charred. Let the peppers cool and them remove their skins.
You also can use your oven’s broiler. First let the broiler heat for 5 minutes before you put in your peppers. Make sure your rack isn’t too close to the open fire, about 3 inches away from the flame. Now add the peppers on a sheet pan and let them broil for about 5-7 minutes or until their skin gets crackled about brown. Once the peppers are finished remove them from the oven and let them cool. Remove their skins.
After you remove the skin, the seeds, and veins from the inside of the pepper you can rinse them with some water to get rid of some of char. Use a colander to save some of the pepper liquid because you will need liquid when you bottle them.