Tonight was taco night in the Stern house. A while ago I had tried a roasted pepper but had been kind of a wimp about really roasting it. So I tried again tonight and figured it out:
Last time, I only roasted it a little bit:
The key is to really get it black, but not too black. This is TOO MUCH:
This is just right:
Of course, this only works if you have a gas stove and can do it on an open flame. It's insanely easy but super impressive. First step is to make sure that the pepper is clean, with no stickers and the stem is cut short. Expose the pepper directly to the flame using tongs. Feel free to leave it on top of the range for a bit until it gets nice and black. Rotate until the whole thing is roasted black, and no worries if some parts are still red.
I felt pretty bad ass with the open flame and tongs. That's really why you need an audience to do this to reap the full reward. And it concentrates the flavors and tastes good.
Let the pepper cool a bit. Then take a damp paper towel and wipe off the blackened pepper skin. It should come off easily and leave smooth red flesh underneath. Then you can cut the pepper up. The seeds should fall out easily. Use the pepper slices on tacos, or in a veggie hummus sandwich.