Both sweet and hot peppers have been used by the Indians of Mexico and Central America as far back as 5000 B.C.
They are unrelated to the peppercorns from which we get black pepper, they received their name from Spanish explorers landed in the New World in search of peppercorns.
Even though bell peppers are chili peppers, they lack the capsaicin that gives hot peppers their pungency.
Peppers come in many shapes and colors, usually turning another color when ripe.
Some of them are not hot at all while some have registered over 350,000 Scoville units of heat.
The Scoville heat chart was created by the man of the same name so people could pick the appropriate pepper for their taste.
Selecting a quality product
Select peppers that are glossy and firm. Stems should be firm and green and the skin should not be
wrinkled. Avoid peppers with insect holes in them or that have sunken brown spots.
Store peppers in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to a week. Green
peppers will last longer than red.
You may also dry peppers for future use in a dehydrator or you can string them up in Ristras and hang them in a
cool dry spot to store like they do in many areas of the world.
Wash peppers just before using. If you wish to remove the skin before using the peppers in cooked dishes,
blanch the peppers briefly to loosen the skin and then peel off. Or you can put them on a grill and char them
briefly and put them in a brown paper bag where they will steam while they cool and the skins will wipe or
wash right off.
Ways to use:
Stuff with meat filling, chili, pasta or rice
Add to soups, stews, casseroles, omelets, and stirfry
Pepper steak is good, expecially when you use more than one color of pepper
Select peppers that are glossy and firm. Stems should be firm and green and the skin should not be wrinkled. Avoid peppers with insect holes in them or that have sunken brown spots.
Store peppers in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to a week. Green peppers will last longer than red.
You may also dry peppers for future use in a dehydrator or you can string them up in Ristras and hang them in a cool dry spot to store like they do in many areas of the world.
Wash peppers just before using. If you wish to remove the skin before using the peppers in cooked dishes, blanch the peppers briefly to loosen the skin and then peel off. Or you can put them on a grill and char them briefly and put them in a brown paper bag where they will steam while they cool and the skins will wipe or wash right off.
Ways to use:
Stuff with meat filling, chili, pasta or rice
Corned Beef Hash In Bell Peppers
Yield: 4 Servings
3 med potatoes; cook, diced
1 large onion
3 med tomatoes
1 can corned beef
4 bell peppers
Salt & pepper to taste
Brown onions and potatoes in oil. Add tomatoes, corned beef, salt, pepper and enough warm water to keep from burning. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers. Clean out seeds and remove center core. Parboil in salted water until tender limp. Drain. Fill peppers almost to the top with corned beef mixture. Bake at 350~ for 20 minutes. Five minutes before serving, drop raw egg in top of each pepper. Return to the oven until egg has set.
Yield: 8 Servings
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups cooked brown rice; hot or cold
1 red bell pepper; julienned
1 yellow bell pepper; julienned
1 small red onion; finely diced
4 scallions; thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives; pref. kalamata
1/4 cup chopped parsley
In a small bowl, combine mustard, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Pour over rice and toss. Add remaining ingredients and toss again.
1 lb flank steak
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp cornstarch
1 bell pepper; red or green
1 med onion
2 celery stalks
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 fresh ginger slices, 1/4" thick
Cut the steak with the grain into 2" wide strips, then cut each strip across the grain into 1/4" slices. (You will find the meat is easier to slice if you place it in the freezer for a short while before slicing). In a medium bowl, combine the steak with the soy sauce, 1 tbsp of the oil and 2 tsp of the cornstarch. Stir to coat the steak and set aside. Cut the pepper into thin slivers. Cut the onion into 1/2" thick wedges. Cut the celery on the diagonal into 1/2" slices. In a small bowl, stir together the broth, black pepper and the remaining 2 tsp cornstarch and set aside. In a large skillet or wok, warm 1 tbsp of the oil over med. high heat. When the oil is very hot, but not smoking, add the beef and the marinade and stir-fry until the beef is browned, but still slightly pink in the center, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet. Add the pepper, onion, celery and ginger, and stir-fry until the onions begin to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the beef to the skillet. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the skillet and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the beef is cooked through 2 to 3 minutes longer. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Do-Ahead Time savers: All of the vegetables can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, covered until ready to cook. The broth mixture can be made well ahead and the beef can be mixed with its marinade several hours ahead - in fact, it is better when marinated for a time before the actual cooking.
Yield: 2 Servings
Vegetable cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic; minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/8 tsp salt; (or to taste)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 10.5 oz can vegetable broth
1 16 oz can pinto beans; rinsed & drained
Coat a medium saucepan with cooking spray, and place over medium high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and saute 3 minutes. Add chili powder and next 8 ingredients (chili powder through broth); bring to a boil. Stir in half of beans, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Place soup in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to pan; stir in remaining beans. Cook until thoroughly heated.
Makes 1 large round - serves about 6
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red and green bell peppers
2 small hot peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 small can (8 3/4 ounces) cream- style corn
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups stone ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Use a 9- to 9-1/2-inch cast iron skillet (large enough to hold all the batter later).
2. Heat the oil in the skillet and cook the scallions, onion and all the peppers over low heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft but not brown. Scrape the contents of the skillet into a bowl. Add the garlic to the pepper mixture, then add the eggs, corn and buttermilk. Stir thoroughly.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients. Then gradually stir the flour mixture into the liquid mixture until the batter is smooth and loose.
4. Use the butter to grease the cast-iron pan. Put the pan into the oven for a few minutes so it becomes quite hot but the butter doesn't burn. Handle the pan with potholders!!
5. Pour the batter into the pan and transfer it to the hot oven. Bake on the top shelf for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the cornbread has pulled away from the edges.
6. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges to serve warm with butter.