I’m making chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight and the recipe calls for a roasted red pepper. Instead of buying a jarred red pepper I decided to roast my own, the way you always see them do it on cooking shows: on the stove top. I usually roast my peppers when we grill and I wasn’t about to fire up the grill for one pepper so this was a bit of an experiment for me.
I put a whole pepper on my smallest gas burner and in no time it started to pop and spark as it began charring and some juices started oozing out. The kitchen also filled with a pleasant aroma that was a combination of burned skin and cooking pepper. I was nervous to leave the pepper for too long on any one side because I didn’t want to set the thing on fire so I turned it frequently. It kept popping and sizzling and little bits of blackened skin peeled off and burned, exposing the flesh underneath.
After several minutes the entire pepper was charred but it was still quite firm. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to leave it on the burner to finish cooking but then again, maybe it would finish cooking when I steamed off the skin in a covered bowl. So into a bowl with plastic wrap it went and the plastic was immediately covered in condensation. I let it sit for a good 10 minutes and then nervously peeled away the plastic wrap. Sure enough the pepper had continued to cook and was slightly softened.
The peel rubbed away quite easily with a paper towel except in a couple of spots where the flame had not quite reached to char properly.
All in all I was quite pleased with the end result. Even though I needed to reserve the pepper for my enchiladas I did have a wee taste and it had an authentic roasted pepper flavor. It was a little crunchier than the store bought variety, but I actually prefer that as you’ll definitely know it’s homemade and it’ll lend some texture to whatever dish it’s added to as opposed to a softer, mushier readymade roasted pepper. If the enchiladas turn out any good, I’ll share that recipe.