Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Peppered with Peppers
I seem to be taken over by peppers of all things at the moment. With a few leftovers from the roadshows, it can soon mount up. And peppers seem to be the things that are overflowing the vegetable box in my fridge. It is a good job I love them.
There is so much you can do with a pepper and it is a truly versatile vegetable. Stuff it, roast it, slice it and serve it raw, cook it down and blitz to make simple purée. But I think it really shows its true form when roasted to sweet perfection. A charred skin and a juicy interior makes for a mouthwatering prospect and I can devour lots of them just like that. I've roasted and sealed peppers in jars with good olive oil in the past too. It is a superb way of preserving and of course you are never far away from a cracking flavour addition to pick up any meal.
A visit to the butchers is always inspirational when trying to think of recipes. I returned with a few new season lamb chops which I simply coated in a little olive oil, smashed rosemary, garlic and lemon then chargrilled. Mouthwatering perfect flavour combinations. A pepper accompaniment for this beautiful lamb is a simple yet stunningly affective way of utilising an abundance of peppers. Pan roast a lot of sliced peppers down in a pan and you are left with a caramelised sensation. Pan roast a few whole shallots and garlic cloves and add a splash of Balsamic vinegar, and things get scarily amazing. Sticky and sweet, these peppers can accompany just about anything you want to place alongside. They pack a powerful punch. I served my peppers and lamb with a watercress mash and it was a memorable supper.
Sticky Caramelised Peppers
4 mixed peppers sliced
6 shallots, peeled and left whole
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
6 tbs Balsamic vinegar
4 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 - In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil then add the peppers, shallots and garlic. If you feel you need more olive oil, then add some more, this requires a good dose.
2 - Cook down, stirring regularly, until the peppers have collapsed and the skin has began to caramelise, a good 15-20 minutes of cooking.
3 - Turn the heat up high then pour in the Balsamic vinegar. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes so that the vinegar reduces and you are left with a sticky jammy pile of beautiful peppers. Taste for seasoning.
4 - Serve with anything you like. They will keep in an airtight container for a good week.