Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fried Peppers--No Recipe Required

Capri Flavors Chef Titina often makes Peperoni Saltati or Bell Pepper Saute in her cooking classes. It is beautiful and flavorful side dish and it's so adaptable. In summer, she may add chopped, drained eggplants and a fresh tomato from her garden. In winter, the eggplant might be omitted, and the peppers and tomato come from a jar.

But this time of year, as late summer gardens are winding down, the bulls horn-type peppers Italians love for frying (photo above) are in abundance.

If you're lucky enough to have a plant, it will might give you peppers until first frost (November here in North Carolina). If you're shopping at local farmers markets, there are several varieties to look for--cubanelle, sweet banana. The names are not really that important. What you want is an elongated pepper (think bulls horn shape) with a thin skin. Unlike bell peppers, these frying peppers don't need peeling. And cooking them is so simple--there's really no recipe required.

Here's how Capri Flavors Chef Titina deals with a bumper crop of frying peppers--

  • Wash and dry peppers. Cut in half and remove stems and seeds.

  • Heat olive oil in large frying pan. Then add peppers and fry until golden brown.

  • Reduce heat. Add chopped garlic, a chopped tomato, salt and pepper.

  • Cover and cook about 10 minutes, until peppers and tomatoes soften and blend.

  • Sprinkle with fresh basil or a pinch of oregano. Adjust seasonings and serve.

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