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Video: 3 ways to cook with bell peppers

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    >>> this morning on,000 cook every san diego . pick a peck of peppers, yellow, red, sweetness of bell peppers . today we have three classic recipes featuring the summer favorite. the author mark bittman , "how to cook everything." peppers are in season, right?

    >> they are totally in season. they are never sweeter than they are in midsummer. i know we have them all year-round. mostly they are grown in greenhouses now they are grown in gardens.

    >> we have three recipes, two of which feature roasted red peppers . give us the optimum way to roast.

    >> the optimum way to roast, which i'm not going to show you, super hot fire outside, throw them on the grill, blacken and collapse, that's the best. the most practical way, the way most of us do it. you do it in an oven, hot oven, on aluminum foil . not wrapped like that but on aluminum foil until they blacken and collapse. where that them a few minutes. they seem a bit. the black skin is easy to peel off.

    >> as soon as it's cool enough to handle the skin comes off.

    >> this is not perfect usually. this is a good one. any skin that sticks is not a big deal . mostly what you want to get is the blackest parts because they are bitter. then you have beautiful caramel carameliz caramelized, word of the year. you pull the core out.

    >> our first one is a spanish recipe, a salsa.

    >> it's some onions cooked until they are tender, then a bunch of chopped tomatoes, maybe that's a little too much. then our roasted red, or in this case yellow pepper. the taste, i like to add a little bit of sugar, and, of course, salt. then stir that up and come over here.

    >> okay. our next one is a bisque.

    >> just a second. just a little bit of vinegar at the end, some oregano or other fresh herb and you wind up with something that's a fabulous salsa.

    >> looks good. i'm going to try it while you tell us about the bisque.

    >> the bisque, you could think of it as lobster bisque but with peppers instead of lobster. some chicken stock or a stock you have and a lot of roasted peppers. right in with smoked paprika, minced garlic. all of that cooks together for a while. then you puree that in a blender with a bit of cream.

    >> as much cream as you like.

    >> a little bit, really, is enough. then we topped it with cream fresh . you get this beautiful creamy, delicious --

    >> cold or hot?

    >> you can serve it cold or hot, if it's hot, but it's fantastic cold.

    >> thirty seconds for our last recipe.

    >> this is easy. basic mixed tango of peppers, olive oil , salt and pepper , a little vinegar at the end just to sort of spice things up, get that nice sizzle. so beautiful. you can serve with anchovies if you're bold.

    >> or all of the above. all right. great recipes. mark bittman , thank you.

TODAY recipes
updated 7/23/2012 12:58:57 PM ET 2012-07-23T16:58:57

Recipe: Salsa sofrito

  • 2 large bell peppers, any color
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds tomatoes (about 3 or 4 medium-sized tomatoes), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F or turn on the broiler and put the rack about 4-inches from the heat source. Put the peppers in a foil-lined roasting pan. Roast or broil, turning the peppers as each side browns, until they have darkened and collapsed, 15 to 20 minutes in the broiler, or up to an hour in the oven. (To grill, heat a charcoal or gas grill to moderately high heat and put the rack about 4-inches form the heat source. When the fire is hot, put the peppers directly over the heat and grill, turning as each side blackens, until they collapse, about 15 minutes.)

2. Wrap the cooked peppers in foil and cool until you can handle them, then remove the skin, seeds and stems. (You can do this under running water, if you like.) Chop the peppers.

3. Put the oil in a medium saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the peppers, onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and plenty of black pepper.

4. Adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and comes together, about 20 minutes. If the salsa gets too thick, thin it with a bit of water.

5. Stir in the oregano and red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Serving Size

Makes about 2 cups

Recipe: Bell pepper bisque

  • 3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 5 roasted bell peppers, cored and chopped (see above recipe for how to roast)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cream to taste

1. Put the chicken or vegetable stock in a large pot over medium heat; bring to a boil.

2. Add the peppers, paprika, minced garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until peppers are very tender and flavors have melded,  10 to 15 minutes.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Whisk in as much cream as you like before serving.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Sautéed bell peppers with vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more
  • 2 large bell peppers, any color
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Sherry vinegar to taste
  • 4 anchovies, optional
  • 1 tablespoon capers, optional

1. Cut the peppers in half, break out the core and scrape out the seeds; discard the core and stem. Rinse to remove remaining seeds; pat dry with paper towel. Slice peppers into strips.

2. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the peppers. Cook, shaking the pan, until the pepper slices just begin to change color on the bottom, less than 5 minutes; use a wooden spoon or spatula to turn the pepper slices over and repeat.

3. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with sherry vinegar to taste. If you like, garnish with anchovies and/or capers.

Serving Size

Makes 2 to 4 servings

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