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Roasted Peppers for Jumbo Chilli Sauce

Asked by dacrag. Answered on 12th October 2011

Full question

Can I just say how much I love Nigella and her TV shows/books. She is truly an inspiration! And even though I'm British, I'm living in Japan, so if she ever comes to Japan, I can recommend some great restaurants! Anyway, I am planning to make the Jumbo Chilli Sauce but unfortunately can't buy jars of roasted peppers in Japan. So, should I roast my own, or are raw peppers okay? I've never roasted peppers before, so a little uncertain of the process. Thank you in advance!! Craig

Our answer

Although Nigella uses jarred roasted red peppers for speed and ease, it is not too difficult to make your own if you need to. To do this you need to grill the peppers under a preheated grill (broiler) until the skins blister and char all over. Some people like to do this with the pepper still whole but if you have a smaller oven it may be easier to halve the peppers and sit them cut side down on a baking sheet ot grill pan. You need to be slightly brave, the skin does need to be blackened for them to peel away from the peppers. It is possible also to roast the peppers in a really hot oven but they don't tend to get the slighty smoky flavour that comes from griling them.

The next stage is to sweat the peppers by immediately putting them in a bowl andcovering it tightly with clingfilm (plastic wrap) or sealing them in a plastic or paper bag. Leave the peppers for around 30 minutes until they are cool then pull off the stalk and scrape away the seeds and skin using the back of a knife. Some people suggest doing this under a running tap but this can wash away a little of the flavour. Slice the peppers into quarters or slice thinly, depending on how you are going to use them.

As it is always handy to have some roasted peppers around it is a good idea to cook 3 or 4 at once. The peppers can be covered in olive oil and refrigerated for a week and leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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