There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.
Today: Maximize your capsicums.
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Peter Piper may have picked a peck of pickled peppers, but the jury's still out as to whether he peeled them. For some, that task is unnecessary; for all, it is tedious. But doing so ensures that your pepper is nothing but tender, so it's worth jumping through that hoop if you want them at their best. Cecil Wooten asked the community for advice, and you all chimed in:
"I heat the pepper over an open flame until the skin chars, then place in a bag to steam. The skin will come right off," says jmburns. Pierino agrees, adding that doing so "only enhances the flavor."
It's possible to peel a raw pepper too, and as with many of life's great questions, the answer is Marcella Hazan. Says ChezHenry: "Marcella always instructed to use a swivel peeler...it works great for me. Mixter adds: "Ever since my husband fell in love with Marcella Hazan, we have peeled our peppers. It is a little time-consuming, but a peeled pepper is a completely different product from a roasted pepper." Mixter assures us that it isn't necessary to try and remove every little bit of skin, and luvcookbooks points out that this recipe does a good job of explaining how to use the swivel peeler.
Do you have any pepper peeling secrets up your sleeve? Tell us in the comments!