Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sautéed Christmas Peppers



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Several summers ago I stumbled on the solution to lack of color on my Christmas table. Double cut lamb chops were sizzling on the grill when I realized I had a rainbow assortment of bell peppers almost past their prime. It was a now or never moment. Working on the assumption that they'd be delicious with anything coming off the grill, I grabbed an onion, some fresh herbs, my best olive oil and the dregs of some chilled red wine and commenced a kitchen experiment. It was successful enough that the effort was repeated, and, while the mixture overwhelmed poultry, it proved to be a great side with beef as well as lamb. When Christmas rolled around, I remembered the gorgeous jewel tones and decided to make this part of our holiday dinner. I've done so ever since. I've fashioned a recipe, actually a technique, for you, but I hope you loose your imagination and create a version of your own. I have been known to take shortcuts, so while I'll be scorned by real foodies, I'll tell those of you who are short of time or space that the peppers can also be cooked in a microwave oven. You get to pick as long as I can exercise plausible deniability. Here's the recipe. The cheat sheet is in red.

Sautéed Christmas Peppers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
2 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves coarsely minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons dry red wine
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Sea salt for garnish

Directions:

1) Stem, core and remove ribs from bell peppers. Cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips; set aside.
2) If sautéeing: Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add onions and cook until s soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until garlic is fragrant. Add bell peppers, oregano and rosemary; saute 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, covered until peppers are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.
3) If microwaving: Place peppers, onions and garlic in a large microwave container. Toss with olive oil. Microwave, covered, on HIGH power for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir. Add wine and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes or until peppers are crisp tender. Remove from oven. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

31 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

I love cooked peppers--sauteed or grilled and they have such great vitamin C too--perfect for those cold winter months. ;-)

Jhonny walker said...

what a lovely dish...and so easy peasy...I enjoy colors so much,,,make quite a few myself :)

Baba's Special Babies said...

Hi Mary, the rich jewel colors of the peppers makes this dish perfect for Christmas..thanks for sharing all of your good recipes.

I am glad you told me the name of my berry bush growing in my yard.
Have a good day..I need to get busy wrapping gifts and finish my shopping for Christmas..hugs, Baba

Martha said...

Mary -- what lovely peppers and so festive looking!

jeanne said...

Good morning Mary. I am visiting early this am as Cheri' decided to wake at 5:00am. This puppy is wearing me out. I fell asleep talking to my friend Beverly at, How Sweet the Sound. I heard a loud, JEANNE! are you sleeping??? Laughing here, it was around 9:00pm. I'll never live this one down. HA!

Now for those peppers. I make them quite often. We saute them in olive oil. You did introduce me to adding more spices. Love the micro wave idea too. In the summer we have a source of fresh peppers of every color from a friend who shops the fresh market when the peppers are on the verge of not being quite fresh. It is wonderful because they are sooo expensive. Maybe they might have a spot and that's all. We have discovered that we can cut them up and freeze them. They are perfect in cooking. We did this for the first time this summer. I am thrilled when I am making a red sauce for pasta to throw some peppers in. I did it just last night. Not perfect but still delicious.

I loved your story from the previous post. Especially the Irish recipe. I make them but I never would have used that much flour. I am going to try them. Your grammy sounds like someone I would have loved to know. My gram visited us much the same way.

Happy cooking, Jeanne

SnoWhite said...

This is my kind of dish -- we eat peppers all the time. Yum.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Beautiful! My husband will love this!

A Year on the Grill said...

Have you noticed how expensive bell peppers have gotten recently???

But I digress... And if you think your shortcut will raise an eyebrow from teh foodies...

Take the peppers and onions cut as described, coat in some cheap Italian salad dressing (think Dollar Store cheap), and saute. It's embarrassing, but tastes great, and looks colorful

George Gaston said...

Mary the brilliant colors of peppers are a great idea to dish a dinner plate. I love this recipe for its balance of flavors. Thanks...

Claudia said...

Yes, peppersare so grand for adding color. And the recipe is just delicious. I love them raw and cooked!

Cathy said...

I'm very fond of peppers and I can almost taste this dish with the beef roast I usually prepare on Christmas day. The beautiful colors will certainly brighten up the table.

Bob said...

I love sauteed peppers! I made something like this just last week to use up a pepper before I moved. Great picture, too.

Karen said...

Beautiful colors - just right for a Christmas dinner!

Lea Ann said...

Fabulous Idea! Thanks for the post.

girlichef said...

What a gorgeous way to add color in the winter months! Perfect :)

olivia said...

colors are beautiful, i will have to try peppers this year

Mary said...

Olivia, I just wanted to welcome you to One Perfect Bite. I hope you'll visit often.

Debbie said...

I love peppers and your dish sounds wonderful with all the spices...so good.

Toni said...

Looks yummy! Question... I don't use wine in my cooking. Any suggestions for a substitute?

Chef E said...

I bought these peppers for my neighbor to make his famous sausage peppers, and here you have given me a wonderful idea for a dish to take to hubbys family for Christmas eve!

Lynda said...

Lovely peppers, Mary...such wonderful colors in a super easy side dish! This would be delish with a beef roast.

Pam said...

What a delicious and colorful side dish - perfect for Christmas.

Mary said...

Toni, use 2 tablespoons chicken broth and 1 tablespoon cider vinegar.

theUngourmet said...

Peppers always add such nice flavor and color. I grabbed a bunch of red peppers this summer while the price was low, cute them up, and stuck them in my freezer.

Yira said...

You take great food pictures. I love these peppers and this is something fun to do to make them last and have them at the ready for soups, sandwiches and any other dishes. Thanks for sharing.

My Little Space said...

I love bell pepper. And this looks simply delicious!

Katy ~ said...

LOL my holidays meals are either all brown or all white. Love these bold colors!

zurin said...

Love the colours.It reminds me af an asian pickle. and Im all for shortcuts :)

g said...

Beautiful. I also like to roast them in a hot oven - especially easy if you're already roasting something.

Rosemary said...

This is as everyone said, a beautiful side . . . and I'm all for shortcuts. In fact, peppers seem to be one of the few vegetables that really does very well in the microwave.

Alicia said...

The little picture for these appeared under your lemon mousse post today and I had to come check them out. I love bell peppers, cooked, raw, anyway I can get them! This sounds fabulous and I think it would be equally as good if I just left everything raw too. Thanks for the idea!

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