Roasted red peppers can elevate the most elemental dishes.
Toast? Upgrade your basic bread to adult-level bruschetta. Chicken sandwich? Instant Italian masterpiece once you add a pepper in the mix.
Here's how to roast peppers in just 20 minutes:
1. Rinse off one pepper. Optional: Rub it with a bit of olive oil. This will help the skin char.
2. Turn on your gas stove to medium or high heat. Place the pepper directly over the flame. It should be resting right on the burner.
3. Watch as the pepper skin chars, and use a pair of tongs to turn the pepper until the entire skin is completely blackened and blistered.
4. Take the pepper off the stove and immediately seal it in a plastic sandwich bag. Another option: You can put the pepper in a heat-proof bowl that's covered with plastic wrap. This helps it steam and soften even more, and the charred skin will start to loosen. Wait five to 10 minutes.
5. Open the bag or plastic wrap and wash the pepper with running water while scraping the charred skin off the flesh. Caution: Contents may be hot!
6. Leave it whole or slice it up, but be careful to remove the seeds hidden inside.
7. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Victory, and a roasted pepper, is yours.