Bell Peppers

Discussion in 'Five Star Kitchen' started by sister herb, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. sister herb
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    Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) and capsicum (in India, Australia and New Zealand), is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum.

    Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, chocolate/brown, vanilla/white, and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers". Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world's largest pepper producer, followed by Mexico and Indonesia.

    The misleading name "pepper" was given by Christopher Columbus upon bringing the plant back to Europe. At that time peppercorns, the fruit of an unrelated plant originating from India, Piper nigrum, was a highly prized condiment; the name "pepper" was at that time applied in Europe to all known spices with a hot and pungent taste and so naturally extended to the newly discovered Capsicum genus. The most commonly used alternative name of the plant family, "chile", is of Mexican origin, from the Nahuatl word chilli or xilli. Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables.

    While the bell pepper is a member of the Capsicum genus, it is the only Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin, a lipophilic chemical that can cause a strong burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. (An exception to this is the hybrid variety Mexibelle, which does contain a moderate level of capsaicin, and is therefore, somewhat hot). The lack of capsaicin in bell peppers is due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates capsaicin and, consequently, the "hot" taste usually associated with the rest of the Capsicum genus.

    The terms "bell pepper", "pepper" or in India, Australia and New Zealand "capsicum", are often used for any of the large bell shaped fruits, regardless of their color. In British English, the fruit is simply referred to as a "pepper", or additionally by color (as in the term "green pepper", for example), whereas in many Commonwealth of Nations countries, such as Canada, and Malaysia, as well as in the United States, they are called "bell peppers". In some countries in Europe, the term "paprika", which has its roots in the word for pepper, is used – sometimes referred to by their color (e.g., "groene paprika", "gele paprika", in Dutch, which are green and yellow, respectively). The bell pepper is called "パプリカ" (papurika) in Japan. Paprika also refers to the powdered spice made from the fruits in the Capsicum genus. In Switzerland it is mostly called "peperoni", which is the Italian name of the fruit. In France, it is called "poivron", with the same root as "poivre" (meaning "pepper"), or "piment". In Korea, the word "피망" (pimang from the Japanese "ピーマン" (piiman)) refers to green bell peppers, whereas "파프리카" (papurika from paprika) refers to bell peppers of other colors.

    Varieties

    The color can be green, red, yellow, orange and more rarely, brown, white, rainbow (between stages of ripening), lavender and dark purple, depending on the variety of pepper. Most typically, unripe fruit are green or, less commonly, pale yellow or purple. One variety, Permagreen, maintains its green color even when fully ripe. Some red, yellow, and orange peppers come from different seeds and are different cultivars of pepper. Some red peppers are simply ripened green peppers. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red bell peppers being the sweetest. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest are fruit allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage are less sweet.

    Capsicum peppers are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamin C. Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers.
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  2. sister herb
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    Red Bell Pepper and Coconut Dumplings/Lal Shimla Mirch ke Laddoo

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    RED BELL PEPPER laddoos may sound something unusual and odd combination but in taste it is awesome. As in vegetables we make Carrot (gaajar ka halwa) dessert, bottle guord (lauki ka halwa) dessert similarly even red bell pepper can turn into yummy dessert. With the same recipe as mentioned below you can also turn it in to a red bell pepper halwa. But here is the recipe for laddoos:

    Red bell pepper…………………………………2 nos (Large, finely chopped or grated)
    Sweetened Condensed milk…………………..200 gms
    Milk………………………………………………1 ½ cup
    Sugar……………………………………………1/3 cup
    Coconut powder………………………………...¾ cup + for coating
    Cardamom powder……………………………..1½ tsp
    Ghee……………………………………………...2 tbsp
    Rose essence…………………………………...few drops
    Saffron……………………………………………few strands (Crushed)
    Slivered pistachios and almonds

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    METHOD:


    Roast the coconut powder till slightly golden brown.
    In a heavy bottom pan, heat 2 tbsp of ghee. Add cardamom powder and fry for 5 seconds.
    Add chopped bell peppers and sauté on high heat till the water released by bell pepper dries up and raw smell goes away.
    Add coconut powder, sauté for 2 mins.
    Add milk and condensed milk, mix well and cook till it starts boiling. Add sugar, mix well and cook till it reduces to less than half of original quantity. The mixture should get thick. Stir occasionally.
    Add crushed saffron and rose essence, cook for another few minutes stirring continuously on high heat till the mixture starts leaving the pan and mixture just comes together to form a soft dough.
    Take it off the stove, cool it for 2 to 3 mins.
    Make small laddoos when the mixture is still slightly warm. Roll each laddoo in the coconut powder.
    Garnish with pistachios and almonds.

    NOTE: If you prefer to make halwa out of this recipe, you can add 50 gms of khova (See Note) or more if you prefer and not thickening it to the consistency of a laddoo.

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    Note: Khova/Khoa (also khoo-wah) is a dairy product widely used in Indian, Nepalese, Bengali and Pakistani cuisine, made of either dried whole milk or milk thickened by heating in an open iron pan.

    It is similar to ricotta cheese, but lower in moisture and made from whole milk instead of whey.

    A concentration of milk to one-fifth volume is normal in the production of khoa. Khoa is used as the base for a wide variety of Indian sweets. Khoa is made from both cow and water buffalo milk.

    Khoa is normally white or pale yellow. If prepared in the winter, it may be saved for use in the summer, and may acquire a green tinge and grainier texture from a surface mould. This is called hariyali (green khoa) and is used to make gulab jamun.

    Khoa is made by simmering full-fat milk in an iron karahi for several hours, over a medium fire. The gradual vaporization of its water content leaves coagulated solids in milk, which is khoa. The ideal temperature to avoid scorching is 175–180 F (about 80 C). Another quick way of making khoa is to add full fat milk powder to skimmed milk and mixing and heating until it becomes thick. This may, however, not have the same characteristics as traditionally made khoa.

    As substitute you can use milk powder or ricotta cheese.


    Source: http://www.cubesnjuliennes.com/2013/10/red-bell-pepper-and-coconut-dumplings.html
  3. sister herb
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    Good Morning Red Bell Pepper Egg Flowers

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    You need:

    red (and green) peppers
    eggs
    basil (or some other fresh herb or salad for leaves)
    oil (for cooking)
    white pepper, salt to taste
    grapes

    • Slice bell peppers through the middle.
    • Place sliced pepper on a hot skillet.
    • Crack an egg into the center.
    • When egg whites are no longer runny, flip and cook on the other side.

    Source: http://www.superhealthykids.com/healthy-kids-recipes/egg-in-a-red-bell-pepper-flower.php
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  4. sister herb
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    Roasted Green Bell Pepper Hummus

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    Ingredients

    1 cup cooked chick peas
    1 tbs Tahini (Sesame paste)
    2 tbs water
    1 tbs olive oil
    1 tbs lemon juice
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1 garlic, chopped
    1 green or red bell pepper, roasted

    Directions


    How to roast Bell pepper

    Roast the pepper on outdoor grill or in your oven. Place the sliced pepper (skin side up after removing the core of peppers) on a baking sheet, broil for about 8 to 10 minutes or until charred. Let it cool , peel the black charred skin and discard.

    Note:

    Oven Roasting Method

    This is my preferred method for roasting peppers, because you can roast several peppers at once with easy cleanup. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 C. Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay peppers on their sides on the foil, stems pointing sideways.

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    Put baking sheet in oven and allow peppers to roast for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet. Using tongs, give the peppers a half turn, then place back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

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    Check to make sure peppers have fully roasted. The skin should be charred and soft, and the peppers should look slightly collapsed. If they don't look ready, let them roast for a few more minutes. When they're done, remove baking sheet from oven.

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    You can also use your oven broiler to roast the peppers, which is a faster process that chars them more than regular oven roasting. While it goes faster, you also have to be on top of it, as the peppers will need frequent turning during the process. If you wish to broil the peppers, I suggest placing the rack in the upper third of the oven so there is 8-9 inches between the broiling element and the peppers. That way, the peppers will be able to soften as they char. When they're too close to the broiler, they will char before they're cooked, which means the flesh won't soften and they'll be harder to peel.

    Preheat broiler to high and place the peppers below the broiler.

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    Let them roast for 20-25 minutes, giving a quarter-turn every 5 minutes, till the peppers are charred, soft and collapsing. The broiler will char them quite a bit, the skin will be very black and crispy-- don't worry, you're going to peel it off anyway. Remove from the oven.

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    Stovetop Roasting Method


    I typically use this method when I only have one or two peppers to roast. Turn your gas stovetop flame to medium. Wrap each pepper in a double layer of aluminum foil (or a single layer of heavy duty aluminum foil), sealing tightly so no openings show.

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    Wear a protective oven mitt. Place foil-wrapped pepper directly over the top of the gas flame. Let it roast for 20-25 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to give the pepper a quarter turn every 4-5 minutes.

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    After 20 minutes, use tongs to gently squeeze the pepper. If the pepper is soft below the surface of the foil and easily yields to the tongs, it is ready. If the pepper still feels somewhat firm, let it continue to roast for a few more minutes till it softens.

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    Remove pepper from the stovetop. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes. The pepper will steam inside the foil, which will help the skins to loosen and peel easily.

    Carefully open the foil. The foil should have cooled, but there may be some residual hot steam trapped inside. Remove the pepper from the foil. The pepper should be soft and nicely charred.

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    Grill or Flame Roasting Method

    I tend to use this method during the summer when we're using our grill a lot. Roasting over an open flame produces a great smoky flavor, but I don't like roasting directly on a gas stovetop-- I prefer to wrap the peppers in foil, as in the Stovetop Method described above. Roasting on an open gas stovetop flame is a simple process, but it can be quite messy; the pepper weeps as it roasts, spilling juices onto the stovetop that are difficult to clean up. For the grill, that's not a big problem-- juices are absorbed by the flames/coals, and you get a nice smoky flavor. So, I recommend this method for the grill. Feel free to use the gas stovetop, which will also give it a smoky flavor, but the cleanup will be tough-- you've been warned!

    Wear a protective oven mitt. Place peppers on the open grill or over a medium gas flame. Let them roast for 15-20 minutes, using tongs to give them a quarter turn every few minutes, till the peppers are charred, soft and collapsing.

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    You can also use a kitchen/bruleé torch to char your peppers, but it's a slow process. Using a grill or gas flame is more efficient.

    Steaming Your Peppers


    Once you've roasted your peppers, you will need to steam them. This process will help you peel the tough skin from them more easily. There are a few ways to steam the peppers.

    I like to place the roasted peppers on a flat, smooth surface like a cutting board, then invert a large bowl over the top of them. The bowl traps the steam inside. Steam for 15 minutes.

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    Alternatively, you can place the peppers in a paper bag and seal the top by rolling it closed. You can also use a plastic zipper bag, plastic wrap, or foil to make a sealed steaming "envelope" for the peppers. I prefer using the bowl method because there is no chance of plastic pieces melting into the hot pepper. If you want to use a plastic bag or wrap, make sure you let the peppers cool slightly (about 5 minutes) after roasting before sealing them inside. When the peppers are extremely hot, they will melt the plastic. Whichever method you choose, steam the peppers for about 15 minutes.

    Seeding and Peeling Your Peppers


    Once you have roasted your peppers, you will need to seed and peel them. This is kind of a messy process, but it's well worth the effort. Note that some people like to seed their peppers before roasting. When I have tried this in the past, the results have not been as good as when I keep the whole pepper intact during roasting-- I recommend roasting the peppers whole and seeding after the roast.

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    Slice the pepper vertically from top to bottom and lay the pepper open so it becomes one long strip. Pull the stem from the top of the pepper. The stem and a clump of seeds should loosen easily. Use a towel or paper towel to wipe off any loose seeds that remain inside the pepper.

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    Flip the pepper over to reveal the skin side. Strip off the charred skin. If you want a more charred flavor, you can leave a few small blackened bits on the skin.

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    Alternatively, you can seed and skin the pepper under running water, which will make it easier to get the pepper flesh clean. I prefer not to do this, because I feel the pepper loses some flavor in the process-- but if you're in a hurry and don't want to mess up your hands too much, it's an option.

    Once you've peeled and seeded your peppers, you'll end up with soft, sweet, tasty pepper flesh.

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    If you want to store the peppers for future use, put them in a glass jar and cover them with olive oil. You can also add a clove or two of garlic to the jar, this will infuse the peppers with a garlicky flavor. Cap the jar tightly and refrigerate. If you don't plan on using them within a week, freeze the roasted pepper strips in Ziploc bags... they actually hold up well to freezing and retain much of their flavor when thawed.


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    How to make Hummus


    If you are using canned chick peas , drain it and rinse in cold water. Place all the ingredients except
    olive oil in a food processor and blend for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and process until the Hummus is smooth and creamy. Add olive oil , mix well. Sprinkle some smoked paprika on top and have it with your favorite chips , Pita breads or as sandwich spread. Store Homemade Hummus in an air tight container and refrigerate up to one week.

    Source: http://www.reciperoll.com/2014/05/roasted-green-pepper-hummus-roasted.html
  5. sister herb
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    Mexican Chicken and Bell Pepper Soup

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    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 teaspoon chili flakes
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    1 (400 g) can diced tomatoes
    3 cups chicken stock
    500 g chicken breast fillets, sliced
    chopped coriander or parsley and lime wedge, to serve


    Saute the onion, garlic, and chilli in the oil until fragrant.

    Add stock, tomatoes, and oregano and bring to the boil.

    Tip in the bell pepper and chicken, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, ot until chicken is just cooked through.

    Serve sprinkled with the herbs and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

    Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/mexican-chicken-and-bell-pepper-soup-379858
  6. sister herb
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    Polish Bell Pepper Rolls Recipe - Roladki z Papryki

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    Ingredients:

    • 3 large bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green), washed and dried
    • 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
    • 2 tablespoons raisins
    • 2 cloves minced garlic
    • Bunch chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (or 1 cup cooked quinoa, barley, rice or buckwheat groats)
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/2 cup finely grated Morski cheese or other melting cheese like Asiago or Parmesan
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
    Preparation:
    1. Roast the peppers on a grill, under a broiler or in the oven until the skin blisters and turns black on all sides. Place in a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam 10 minutes. Peel, stem, cut in half lengthwise, de-seed, rinse and dry.

    2. In a small bowl, combine sunflower seeds, raisins, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, olive oil, basil, thyme, cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and capers if using.

    3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F/175 C. Lay the pepper halves flat and portion 1/6 of the filling at the widest end of the pepper and roll up as you would for stuffed cabbage, but leave the ends open. Repeat with remaining pepper halves. Place snugly in a greased casserole dish. Bake 15 minutes. When the dish comes out of the oven, sprinkle with a ittle grated cheese and chopped parsley or basil, if desired.

    4. Note: This dish can also be made by wrapping the rolls in foil and roasting them on a grill. Also the bread crumbs can be replaced with 1 cup cooked barley, white rice, wild rice, quinoa or any other grain.

    Source: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/o...ell-Pepper-Rolls-Recipe-Roladki-Z-Papryki.htm
  7. sister herb
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    Layered Mexican Cornbread

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    1 cup cornmeal
    1/2 cup flour
    2 T baking powder
    2/3 cup milk
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
    1 14-oz can creamed corn
    1 cup grated cheddar
    1/3 cup diced green pepper
    1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

    1. Mix together first 6 ingredients then stir in onion and creamed corn.
    2. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9 by 9 pan (or 8 by 8).
    3. Spread a layer of grated cheese on top of the batter. Sprinkle peppers on top of the cheese.
    4. Pour remaining batter on top of the cheese and peppers.
    5. Bake at 350 degrees F/175 C for about 35 minute or until knife inserted in batter comes out clean.
    6. Serve while still warm.

    Source: http://keeleycuisine.blogspot.fi/2010/05/layered-mexican-cornbread.html

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