Friday, 6 October 2017

Roasted Peppers in Cream

I found some nice big Red Shepherd peppers at the grocery store - somebody seems to be getting some peppers this year I'm happy to say - and I mixed them with a few hot Hungarian Banana peppers that I had on hand, also red, the better to lull eaters into complacency and then have them say, "Wow!" But use your discretion - you need to have diners who like that kind of thing.

I think red peppers are the best for this, but it might be nice to mix in some yellow ones too. Green would not be my choice except I think this might be very good with green Poblano (Ancho) peppers. What I would avoid in any colour are Bell peppers, which apart from having a tendency to cause indigestion, are just not very interesting peppers in my opinion. They are thick walled enough to work, though. Cubanelles, like the Hungarian Banana peppers, would be a little thin walled but could be okay. 

Other than that, not too much to say about this. It's peppers. In cream. And yes I'm afraid that prep time is right. Most of it will be taken up with broiling and preparing the peppers, which is a remarkably slow and tedious job. The one good thing is that it can be done ahead of time at your leisure.

I don't  think this quite cuts it as a main course in and of itself, but it's pretty rich so I suggest serving it with fairly plainly cooked fish or chicken, or perhaps a second substantial vegetarian dish.

2 to 4 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 45 minutes prep time

Roasted Peppers in Cream

Make the Sauce:
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup 10% cream

Grind the fennel and pepper together. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the flour, salt, and ground spices. Cook, stirring, until pasty and bubbling throughout; a minute or two. Reduce the heat and gradually stir in the cream to form a smooth sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens (just a few minutes) then remove from the heat.

Roast the Peppers:
1 kg (2 pounds) long peppers (see above)

Wash the peppers and put them under the broiler, just a few inches away. Broil them until the skins start to char. Turn them frequently to char them as evenly as possible. As they become charred all over, remove them to a bowl or other dish that can be covered. Once they are all in, cover and let cool, at least enough to handle. This can be done up to a day in advance.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pull out the stems and cores of the peppers, removing all the seeds. Peel off the skins. It can be helpful to rinse the peppers under cold water to remove the last bits. Cut the peppers into strips or chunks and lay 2/3 of them in a lightly oiled baking dish that will hold them in a single layer but fairly snugly.

Pour the sauce evenly over them, and gently press the remaining pepper pieces down into it, so they don't stick out but can be seen on top of the sauce. 

Bake the peppers for about 45 minutes, until the sauce is browning slightly on top.

Last year at this time I made Branstonesque Pickle.

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