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Storing roasted peppers??

  • c

I have about half a dozen red and yellow bell peppers left over from a party last weekend. I hate to see them go to waste given their price. I thought that I'd roast them, but am not sure how to store them for future use. I could probably cover them with olive oil, but they're so useful as a low-fat flavor enhancer, I wouldn't want to take that away.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!

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  1. After roasting, lay them flat on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Let them freeze flat, then pop them off, into a ziplock bag, and back into the freezer for use whenever you want.

    1. I strongly suggest that you preserve the roasted bells in extra virgin olive oil that has the flavor of halved garlic cloves infused in it by heating the cloves in the oil.

      My daughter suggested a good way to roast the peppers. Slice the peppers in half from stem to bottom. Get rid of the seeds and stem. Flatten the pepper halves on aluminum foil so that they are all about the same height. Place the rack upon which the peppers are to rest, skin side up, as close to the broiler element as possible. When the skins are charred to to a crisp, place the peppers in sturdy plastic containers (I use saved 3-pound ricotta containers), cover the containers, and allow the charred peppers to steam for about 8-10 minutes.

      Put the peeled peppers in glass jars. Pour the garlic-infused oil over the peppers so that all the peppers are covered. Refrigerate them.

      I personally do not care for peppers that have been jarred in vinegar. The peppers in oil have a wonderful flavor and go well in sandwiches with pepperoni, ham or capocollo, Genoa salami, provolone, Romaine lettuce, onion and tomato on a hoagie roll.

      13 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        I cannot think of a better way to grow bacteria and other aerobic pathogens then to put them in oil and a non sterile environment. Best wishes to anyone that tries this.

        1. re: dk
          d
          Das Ubergeek

          Really? I can think of several. This "NO GERMS IN MY KITCHEN AT ANY COST" thing amuses me to no end... they've been sitting on a platter all night, how is this any worse? Storing them covered in oil would rule out aerobic pathogens since, uh, they'd be covered in oil.

          I put my peppers sott'olio (under oil), but I *never* do the garlic thing because that really is just asking for it. I use Mason jars (it takes all of ten minutes to sterilise them, just boil them for said ten minutes in a gallon of water to which you have added a capful of household bleach, yes, that's right, bleach), pack the peppers in, cover with oil, tap to get the air bubbles out, add oil as needed to the lip, then seal with a new lid. If you're really freaked out, process the closed jar in simmering water for 10 minutes or so. I just put them in the fridge. Frankly, if I'm going to eat them within the next two days I don't bother with this -- I put them in a Tupperware container and cover with oil, then park them in the fridge.

          Don't waste your extra-virgin olive oil on this -- you'll lose the flavour of the oil to the peppers anyway. Plain olive oil works better and is one-third the price.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Sorry, Ubergeek, I meant to say anaerobic.

            1. re: dk

              Yeah... it's the anaerobic ones that will kill you. (Botulism)

              Heat treating, as if you were canning them, would make them safe in oil.

              1. re: sasan

                Pressure canning would make them safe, a boiling water process would only enhance the conditions needed for botulism spores to sprout and grow.

                You cannot can low acid vegetables (or anything but fruit, basically) in a boiling water bath. Doing otherwise is taking a very serious risk with a devastatingly toxic poison. (The toxin produced by botlulism bacteria is literally the most potent toxin currently known to science.) It doesn't kill many people these days, but it can result in months' long hospital stays and possible life-long after effects. Very nasty stuff, not to be taken lightly.

                1. re: MikeG
                  d
                  Das Ubergeek

                  Good grief. Yes, if you leave this stuff submerged in oil for two weeks, you might have a problem... but if you're just planning to store it in the fridge for a couple of days, it isn't going to kill you (unless you have a compromised immune system, in which case you aren't going to be storing leftovers anyway).

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Oh sure, but why can them at all then? Seems to me that canning them in a way that drives air out but doesn't kill the spores is asking for more trouble than leaving them uncanned in the first place. At least there's some oxygen in the jar to inhibit sprouting of the spores (and the subsequent bacterial growth and relase of their toxin.)

                    One note: except in infants, botulism isn't an illness in the sense of pathogenic infection, so the strength of one's immune system is irrelevant. (Our gastric juices take care of the spores and bacteria with no need for immune response per se.) It's just plain poisoning, and with a stunningly potent neurotoxin for which there is no direct antidote.

                    1. re: MikeG
                      d
                      Das Ubergeek

                      Because -- assuming you go the two-day route and not the two-week route -- roasted pepper oil is a powerful addition to salad dressings.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        I'm totally confused at this point.

                        What I'm saying is that boiling water processing low acid vegetables including peppers is asking for trouble. Period. Whether in oil or not. Whether for 2 days, 2 weeks, or whatever (obviously the longer you go, the greater the risk.) 212F just isn't nearly hot enough to destroy Clostridium spores, but it will create an anaerobic environment in the jar. In other words, it's the worst of all possible worlds.

                        So, it's safer to just keep them uncanned, unless you pressure can them. There's still some risk, depending how long you keep them, but at least in their uncanned state, there'll be residual oxygen in the jar and of course every time you open it, new air will get in.

        2. re: ChiliDude
          n
          Niki Rothman

          Don't store them for a long time in olive oil. Watery-based items can develop anaerobic bacteria when stored in oil. If you were to follow proper canning procedures such as high temp heating in oil for a sufficient time, and sterilizing the jar, there would be no problem. But that does not sound convenient in this case. Vinegar or freezing prevents the development of bacteria. But, like a week in olive oil...I'd say that was safe. But a month in olive oil...do not risk it.

          1. re: Niki Rothman

            The peppers are consumed in a very short time. I process only about 5 bells at a time.

            1. re: ChiliDude
              n
              Niki Rothman

              It's all good then. Gotta Love those roasted red bell peps!

          2. re: ChiliDude
            n
            Niki Rothman

            In response to your dislike of peppers stored in vinegar. I would not like straight vinegar either. But dilute vinegar with salt work just as well for preserving veg in the fridge. What I do is boil for 2 minutes, various veg. such as sliced peppers, string beans or mushrooms in a mild vinagrette that contains water, salt and not a whole lot of oil. Then I store for 2 days in the fridge before using. This produces a delicious mild piquancy that is a fine addition to slads, sandwiches - really, your imagination is the only limit, and they keep very well in a container in the fridge ready for use at all times. I do not mix the veg, but prepare and store separately to keep the flavors distinctive. You can also add a smashed clove of garlic, herbs of your choice, a little sugar or a big pinch of red pepper flakes. Just experiment and you'll discover some very delicious and very easy ideas for increasing your vegetable options. I think this method is something every chowhound chef would enjoy having as a standard item onhand in the fridge.

          3. n
            Niki Rothman

            Store them in a vinagrette that has very little oil in it. Actually, you could just use diluted vinegar if fat was really an important concern. If you don't want the vinegar tang, as long as they are not raw you can freeze them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Niki Rothman

              Totally agreed about the vinegar. You can also stick some herbs in (thyme, basil, etc.) to have a nice marinated roasted pepper that can top bruschetta, be used on an antipasto platter, or put on sandwiches.

            2. j
              Jeremy Newel

              We roast peppers regularly, usually just red bell peppers since the yellow ones turn a rather unappetizing color sometimes. After roasting, skinning, de-seeding and deveining, I cut them into strips, sprinkle on a clove or two of very finely minced garlic, sprinkle with salt to taste, add a splash of best quality sherry vinegar, and a very small amount of oil -- less than a tablespoon of oil for 6 peppers. Toss well to mix.

              I don't use olive oil, as we often eat the peppers straight from the refrigerator. These peppers last easily for a week in the refrigerator, though they do exude a gelatinous bit of juice a few days down the line, this in no way harms the flavor.

              Don't know how long they would last, since they are all gone by the end of the week.

              1. Why not make some bell-pepper/tomato pasta sauce and freeze it?