Posts tagged peppers
I’m always looking for ways to cut cooking times while still making meals flavorful. I’ve found one way to do that is to double up on ingredients when I’m making meals.
Last week I roasted a whole pan of yellow and red peppers and onions for fajitas on one night. With the leftovers I pureed the peppers into a shrimp dish the following night and still had some for rice too.
Here’s a few ways you could go through a pan of roasted peppers during the week:
- Puree them into spaghetti sauce
- Chop up to use in quesadillas
- Add into omelets
- Mix into casseroles
- Toss in with pasta dishes
You get the idea!
Easy roasting: Cut 4-5 red and yellow peppers into strips along with 2 medium-sized white onions. Place all of the slivered veggies into a plastic bag and add in 1 tbsp. olive oil (I used garlic olive oil). Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Shake the bag to coat the veggies with the oil. Pour onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until the ends just begin to get crisped.
I’m celebrating Cinco de Mayo all week long with info and recipes all about my favorite Mexican foods. So let’s get right to it. Serranos. You have to look carefully at this picture, but the serranos sold at my local market are always green (squint and you’ll see ‘em in between the red ones).
I prefer the flavor and bite of serranos to jalapeno peppers in fresh salsas and guacamole. (And truth be told, serranos are much more common in Mexico than jalapenos anyway.)
See jalapenos have a strong initial heat at the front of your mouth. The zing is overwhelming to the point I can’t taste what I’m eating. But serranos have a different heat experience entirely. It comes at the back of your throat, a little sweet, tingling of heat, building as you munch.
I usually toss in a serrano or two whenever I want to add some heat to a Mexican dish. For a real kick, don’t bother seeding them. For you slow cookers out there–add these to the pot too (the heat will diminish the longer you cook ‘em).
I know that ham is the traditional Easter dish, but the trouble around my house is I’m the only one who likes it. And honestly, I’m not a huge chunk ‘o ham kinda meal person. Slice it, dice it, and put it in an omelet or on a sandwich, in pasta, I’m good, but on its own…eh. Anyone else looking to add a little zing to their Easter meal (or hey, even the week leading up the the holiday)?
What to call this–fresh Easter-Mex? I’m not sure. But I tweaked our taco salad into a bunny one. For salad, I do the expected shredded romaine lettuce. Then, I like to add pinto beans (right from the can, or homecooked, if you have ‘em). And a mixture of green chiles, corn and tomatoes. My younger kids go without dressing, I like to make one using my favorite salsa and either a shot of sour cream or Caesar dressing. Then the real draw is the crispy taco strips. Using my wok, I fry thin (about 1/4″ strips of corn tortillas). And as long as the oil is warm, I use a cookie cutter to make bunnies to top the salad. I threw some leftover grilled chicken and shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese into the salad too. I had clean plates all around on this meal (and a request for more bunnies next time).
Now for that purple cauliflower. I spied it at the grocery store and I couldn’t resist. I added it in
along with other veggies into our stir-fry this week. My kids will polish off bowls of broccoli, but so far none of them have taken to cauliflower. Well, I got them to munch a bit more for the sake of eating something purple. My middle daughter ate all of hers and asked for more, but my younger and older daughters scooted it to the side of their plates after trying a couple, with a half-hearted, “Yeah, I like it, I’m just getting full” bluff. Ah well. Little do they know I have orange cauliflower at the ready for a coming meal…
Sandwiches, fajitas & more
Yellow. Green. Red. Orange. I’m talking peppers here, not Easter egg colors. I like to buy them fresh when I find them on sale and then slice them in my Cuisinart and save them in individual meal portions in the freezer. We made chicken Philly-cheese steak sandwiches and threw in a medley of colorful peppers. Again, we have some pepper and non-pepper fans around here. I have hope that eventually all my kids will be begging for peppers but right now my two youngest pick out their peppers and give them to my oldest, who happily accepts them. But even if you’re not into sandwiches, add an extra helping to fajitas, pasta salad, scrambled eggs.
But there’s so much more you can do to add a little color to you meals–or even to your house whether you’re celebrating Easter or just looking to add a bit of Spring inside. Flipping through some ideas on Simple Spring Makeovers on Motherboard, I liked the idea of adding carrots to your flower vase along with blossoms. (I think I’d have to add in some yellow and purple ones too!)
Your turn: Are you planning on making anything special for the Easter holiday this year? Or have you been decorating with Spring colors to spruce up your home?