Saturday, October 5, 2013

Roasting Your Own Veggies - DIY Restaurant Flair

Roasting Your  Own Vegetables
Roasting Vegetables can be a very big hit at a dinner party. It shows you're not afraid to take a little heat in your kitchen.

      I had a craving for Tex-Mex so instead of going out I decided to try and re-create some of the restaurant flavor at home. Roasted vegetables, especially garlic, onions and peppers, take on a very distinct flavor when roasted over a flame. (As you would suspect if you've grilled ANYTHING). Roasting something over a flame inside of your home presents different challenges.

      For example, if you roast an onion, the paper thin outer layers will start to shed and fly away. The smudges of ash over your kitchen will be worth it I promise! Please follow basic safety rules when using an open flame in you're home. If you're timid, invite a friend over and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Now to the good stuff.

The Basics: 
1. Wash your vegetables, ensure they are free of dirt and debris. If you see dark spots, take this time to remove blemishes with a sharp knife.

2. You may want to remove the grate cover from your burner at this time. Go ahead and grab a pair of tongs and a stainless steel meat fork.

3. I started off with tongs and the grate on as pictured below and slowly rotated the pepper over the flame careful to blacken all sides.
Slowly, carefully..

 Things were progressing here but I wasn't, by any means, quick.

You may find this has greater maneuverability 
I found it was much easier to remove the grate from the burner and proceed to hold the pepper with a long meat fork. It was easier and faster.
4. Then it's a quick dunk in ice water and remove the skins with your fingers. (use a knife to gently encourage stubborn spots.)

5. Voila! You have restaurant quality roasted peppers. 

      Now you can stop right here and serve them with a dip or slice em up and put them on a sandwich or wrap. Since I'm still in the mood for Tex-Mex, I browned some ground turkey in a pan (I added garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ancho chili powder, black pepper, cumin and homemade cayenne pepper to make a healthier homemade taco seasoning. I'm experimenting a bit with the exact measurements right now. More later!)
     In a separate skillet I added a drizzle of olive oil, thick chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic. I cook these until the onions are translucent and the garlic just barely starts to brown. In go the sliced fire-roasted peppers and there you have it. A healthier than eating-out dish with restaurant flair. 

Thanks for taking the time to DIY, come back soon!


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