Living in Utah affords me the luxury of year around access to a variety of peppers, which I find constantly make their way into my recipes. Whether it is your average red bell or anaheim peppers, I always prefer to roast the peppers to add another level of flavor to whatever dish I may be cooking.
Since there are plenty of recipes that call for roasted peppers without requiring the use of a grill, I have taken to roasting spicy peppers in batches and then freezing them (also great for preserving seasonal peppers). Freezing the roasted peppers locks in the flavors and makes them a readily available ingredient for spicing up everything from omelets to enchiladas.
Below are my simple steps for preparing, roasting, and storing your favorite peppers.
- Rinsed and dried peppers of choice
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Wood chips
Set-up your grill for direct grilling and pre-heat to high. Soak your wooden chips in water (if needed).
Place peppers on a platter (above are jalapeno and anaheim peppers)
Drizzle olive oil over all the peppers and generously salt and pepper them. Then using your hands turn and mix the peppers so that all sides are covered with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add your wood chips to the coals or smoker box. Place peppers directly over the heat on the grill, close the lid and let the fire and smoke work their magic.
Cooking time should be relatively quick (4-5 minutes per side). Rotate the peppers as soon as is one side is charred.
Remove peppers from grill when all sides are charred and let them cool on a platter for a few minutes.
On a cutting board, lop-off the tops of the peppers and make a slice lengthwise, exposing the seeds
Open the pepper and spread it flat
With a spoon, scrap out the seeds. When possible, peel the charred skin off the pepper – if a little is left behind, that is not a problem. Repeat these steps with the remaining peppers.
Place flattened peppers on a baking sheet lined with wax papper or aliminum foil. Lay out the peppers on the pan so that they lay flat, but do not touch. Place in the freezer. When the peppers are mostly frozen (1-3 hours), remove them from the pan and place in a Ziploc freezer bag and store in your freezer for up to a few months. Pre-freezing the peppers on the baking sheet ensures that they stay seperated in the bag and can be easily removed one at a time.