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22 June 2010

how to roast peppers

Danny loves heat and fire. It's part of the reason he's a chef. Only part. He really loves to feed people. However, if he gets to watch flames arc high toward the ceiling as he shakes the skillet over the burner while he's searing something, so much the better.

We wouldn't recommend that you do that at home. However, don't be afraid of heat or gas flames. Roasting a pepper over a gas flame makes the house smell wonderful, full of char and campfire memories of burnt marshmallows.

I love roasted red peppers. Make some pasta, top it with some olive oil, some sauteed mushrooms, and roasted red peppers, and you're nearly there. Grate some good Parmesan on top and throw in a handful of briny pitted olives? Dinner.

Roasted peppers lend a depth of flavor to simple foods like scrambled eggs, vegetable soup, and large chopped salads full of summer bites that might otherwise taste flat. You can buy them in a jar, but they are expensive this way.

If you don't know how to roast peppers, watch this video of Danny demonstrating and you will soon.

p.s. we need your suggestions...

We hope you enjoy the video. But frankly, it's a little hard for us to look at, because we're hating the video quality. We've been trying to make this work with a Flip camera, and then with a Kodak Z16. But both are so grainy in the close-ups. Plus, it may be summer, but on Sunday it was dark and cold enough that Danny was wearing that long-sleeve wool plaid shirt. Ugh.

So we want to get a proper video camera, one we can attach to a mic to put on Danny. That way, you can hear him! Does anyone have suggestions? Brands? Makes? Types? Anyone want to sell us one for cheap? We need something reasonable and good.

p.p.s. Thank you all for your lovely, heartfelt comments on the Oprah audition. Danny and I have been reading them, buoyed by your kindness. We are determined to do everything we can to make life easier for those of us who cannot eat gluten.

Did you know that you can vote for that video more than once? In fact, you can vote as many times as you like! And you can tell your friends to do the same!


At 4:19 PM, Blogger sweetpea said...

I love to roast tuns of peppers in the fall over an open campfire and then can them! It is so easy and saves time roasting them as I need them through the winter.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great video! I was wondering if the Chef had any advice on getting employees in a foodservice establishment to take gluten free foods seriously. I work in a setting where I am the only one who really thinks this is important and it's very frustrating. I want to make sure all of our customers are safe, but despite multiple trainings they just don't seem to "get it." I'm not sure if it's an education issue, if they don't believe it's important, or they just don't care, but I don't seem to be getting through to them. Any advice you could give would be very helpful! Thanks!

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Laura said...

I love these videos! You guys are such an inspiration in our kitchen. With all the crap that's in our food now a days (and now that I have a 1 year old to feed) I am going back to basics and learning to make things from scratch. One thing I've discovered it that I am a little clueless in the kitchen! I would love to see your take on roasted potatoes (including spices) or other very basic, simple every day foods.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Brit said...

I never knew that you could roast peppers in the oven! I mean, I guess I knew, but I never thought about it. I'm so excited because we don't have a gas stove in our new house and now I can make my own. Thank you so much!!

At 6:58 PM, Blogger the author said...

One thought on a camcorder: I'm just moving from theater directing to film and the camera I'm going to buy as soon as I can is the Canon Vixia HV40: Canon is the go-to brand, and MiniDV is still standard for indie filmmakers. Plus you can plug in a good mic and get the sound quality you want. It runs around $1000.

They also make the Vixia in flash memory models, which cost about half as much and which I think also have mic jacks.

When you do get a camcorder, you'll have to let us know all about it!

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Rikki said...

I love love love your blog. Not sure if I have posted here before but I have followed you for a while. I'm a foodie by heart and recently stopped gluten and dairy from entering my diet- your site has been helpful in this transition! (as well as teaching me to roast peppers on the stove!) Would you mind if I put a link to your blog on mine as one of my favorite sites?

At 6:06 AM, Blogger I Am Gluten Free said...

I hope you can get a better video camera, but the videos you've posted thus far are still great and much appreciated!

At 7:35 AM, Blogger caroline said...

I was surprised to see you say, "You can buy them in a jar, but they are expensive this way." While I'd love to roast some red peppers, I've always been reluctant because fresh red peppers are so very expensive. On the other hand, the jarred stuff isn't too bad-- I've even bought it from the Dollar Tree on occasion. Of course, if you're lucky enough to have a garden plot then I can see how roasting your own home-grown peppers would be cost effective.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger beastmomma said...

This is my favorite video so far! I just love the humor and interaction between the two of you and Lucy. Good fun and informative. How often do we turn the peppers in the oven?

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Christina said...

I know you were asking for suggestions for video equipment, but I'd love to submit one for one of these nifty cooking videos. They are so helpful!
Would you consider doing a video on making the perfect risotto? I have been making it for years and mine always tends to be too starchy and never quite like the creamy dish I've had in restaurants. I do make it the slow way with lots of stock and a slow simmer, but I sat in an Italian restaurant in San Fran a few years ago and watched them make a quick risotto where the rice had already been cooked and they added that to the pan with stock and the other additions. I've tried both ways and I'm still not satisfied. Would love to see the Chef make risotto :)

Thanks for all your heard work! :)

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Sho said...


One of the things my husband won't eat is bell peppers, and I love them. The acid in them gives him a lot of reflux. He has the same problem with rhubarb.

Vanilla. This is soothing on the stomach. If I make something with peppers or rhubarb it has to have vanilla. Would roast peppers taste good with grated vanilla bean on them?


At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Georgia Pellegrini said...

Roasted peppers add lovely depth to a dish. I like to can them myself too - much cheaper and tastier than buying them in the store!

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Gift Baskets said...

Love the video! Would making it on the grill be somewhat similar to your open flame on the stove? We have an electric stove and the oven roasting seems longer.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous matt said...

fantastic video guys, don't change a thing with your video work. I really like the rawness here. A good chef, at work. No fancy tricks. LOVE it.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Brj said...

Hi Shauna/Chef/Bean,

Thanks, as always, for your lovely blog and shared info. I roasted poblano peppers for the first time a few weeks ago; I was shocked at how easy it was - I was wrongly intimidated by it!

I am a video producer out of Oregon and work for a small production house. From my experience, there are a lot of 'prosumer' (professional/consumer) cameras out there that are fairly affordable. I'd agree with the other comment someone left that Canon is a good, safe brand to go with. Mini DV is standard, and incredibly cheap for the quality you get.

I can tell you edit to some degree - is that on a mac? iMovie, Final Cut? I'm unfamiliar with your camera, are you loading in from an SD card, or are you running a tape directly out of your camera? All these things will make a different on what kind of camera you ultimately choose.

You can often get decent quality video out of a camera, but getting high quality audio can be a challenge. Most prosumer cameras have XLR inputs, meaning you can run a mic plug directly from your mic to your camera. Wired lapels are widely available and pretty cheap (anywhere from $20-40; here's one I found on Amazon for about $30 As far as brands for those go - Audio Technica and Telex are a couple of winners.

It may be a bit of investment at the beginning, but if it's something you plan to continue to use, it may be worth it!

Feel free to contact me for any other questions you may have.

Thanks again for everything you do!


At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm.. suprisingly easy! i think my girlfriend will have a coronary if i put the capsicum (aust term) on the stove top though! haha :) but i love it!

I actually didn't think the film quality was that bad. I mean you're not making professional films.. I actually think the DIY quality makes it really accessible.

All the best with your projects.


At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Merideth said...

Roasted peppers connect me to such great memories- how lovely to see someone else who's in love with them too: New Mexico in the fall, when these weird pepper roasting/tumbling things are everywhere and the smell in the air is divine! And then there was that restaurant in the middle of olive country in France, where a salad that they served involved a few roasted red peppers on a plate, flat, some local olive oil that is so green and rich that it's just crazy, and a few nicoise olives. Simple, yet incredible... I love roasting them myself, too, and greatly appreciate tips on it!

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Julie said...

Sorry, I have no suggestions for cameras and other technical stuff.. just thought you might like to know that no video showed up for me! I refreshed the screen a bunch of times, and nada. I wonder if it's happening for anyone else?

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Stephanie said...

For Caroline,
Fresh roasted peppers really do taste best. I've found peppers a day or 2 past their prime on the cheap rack at our local fabulous produce place and our supermarket. Same with the local farmer's markets on occasion. (I used to buy the "under the table" peppers and tomatoes.) Green bell peppers (cheap) roasted and stored in a jar of olive oil and garlic (which gets them kinka spicy) are incredible, too. They keep for close to 2 weeks, or you can freeze them in baggies after roasting. When I want sweet roasted peppers, I buy whichever color is on sale, plus one red one to up the flavor factor.

Still totally worth picking up those jars at the dollar store for the last minute, but look for deals on fresh ones when you can!


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