Monday, April 12, 2010

Size does matter

On Friday afternoon, Mum and Dad dropped by my work on their way through to Akaroa. Mum had raided her garden before leaving, and presented me with a bagful of capsicums, chillis, tomatoes and cape gooseberries.

Since there was far more than I could get through myself, I distributed a fair number of the capsicums and chillis around the workmates. Among the produce I kept for myself were two cute little mini green capsicums, and I decided that I would do them as roasted peppers (p161) - which I reckoned would give me just enough to toss through a green salad for dinner.

I've roasted peppers before, but only red full-sized ones. I didn't think the smaller green ones would be any different. I found almost immediately that it was more difficult to get them to sit on the oven racks - they kept falling through into the tray I'd placed underneath.

Periodically checking them, I replaced them over and over again on the rack, attempting to turn them as per the recipe, so they could brown evenly. After some time in the oven, only one of the capsicms had browned up properly - and then not evenly on all sides. The other one had just shrivelled up.

Figuring that further cooking wasn't going to improve them, I took the capsicums out of the oven and set them to cool on a board before peeling off the skins. This is according to the recipe, but I'd advise putting them in a plastic bag for 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven, so they sweat and the skin peels off more easily.

 When I went to peel them, only the one that  had partially browned would peel at all. It seems that the other pepper and the rest of the partially browned one just didn't have enough flesh on them to roast properly. They were a complete write-off really.

In the end, I had a small handful of very thin pieces of roasted green pepper. I still made my salad, but the capsicum ended up being more of a garnish than a main ingredient.

I do recommend roasted peppers - as I say, I've made them before. But take my advice and use full-sized ones. In this case, bigger is definitely better.

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