20th Harvest Week <> September 10 - 16, 2001

Not much room this week, so how about I just give you a few tidbits on pears and peppers? - Debbie.

Pan-browned Pears (or Apples)

For many years I've made what I call 'fried apples', wherein I core and slice up apples, melt some butter in a large skillet, add the apples in a single layer, and cook over low heat until browned (turning to brown them on both sides). These are great served alongside pork (chops, tenderloin, roast, whatever) and mashed potatoes, or with breakfast sausage and eggs. Well guess what? You can do the exact same thing with pears and it is equally wonderful!

How to roast peppers

I was so happy when I finally learned how to do this, as the flavor added to peppers via roasting is just so amazing. You need a 'hot fire' of some sort: a charcoal grill, gas grill, or broiler. Place whole peppers over (or under, in the case of a broiler) the heat source. Allow skin to char/blacken/blister, turning every few minutes with tongs to char all sides. They don't have to be 100% blackened all over (sometimes there are nooks and crannies that escape blackening), but mostly so. At this point, remove peppers to a plastic or paper bag, seal up and let 'steam' about 15 minutes. Here comes the cool part (the trick to seeding and peeling 'em). Place one of the blackened peppers (after they're cool enough to handle, of course) on a cutting board on its side. Gently hold the pepper with one hand, and grab and pull on the stem with your other hand. The stem and most of the seeds should just ploop right out in one piece. Carefully slit up one side of the pepper and open/lay it out flat, skin-side down. Scrape away any remaining seeds and rib membranes. Turn pepper over and peel off the charred skin. Sometimes this comes off in one big piece (yeah!), but if it breaks or flakes, just use a knife blade and carefully scrape it off. That's it! Cut it in slices or pieces and use it a million ways! Roasted peppers freeze well too. I lay the prepared slices on sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap, on a cookie sheet, and stick in the freezer until they're frozen solid. Then, pop the slices off and seal up in a ziploc and throw back in the freezer (it helps if you separate the frozen slices with plastic wrap so they don't stick together). If you have any questions about this process, feel free to email me! (click on the 'send Debbie some email' link, below) - Debbie



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