The Fire: A mature fire with moderate to high flames and a substantial bed of embers.
Use a shovel to spread the embers beside the fire and use the long-handled tongs to immediately place each pepper on the embers 2 to 4 inches from the flames. The embers contribute to the cooking, but the primary charring comes from the peppers' proximity to the fire. At the ideal degree of hotness, when you first begin to char the peppers, you will hear popping sounds as the skin blisters. As each side is charred, use the tongs to turn the pepper, exposing a fresh side to the flames. Each side should char is a maximum of 3 minutes.
When the entire pepper is black, use the tongs to remove it from beside the fire to a plate. When cool enough to handle, peel off the burnt skin. Your hands will get covered with black, so do this near the kitchen sink.
After the skin is peeled, rinse your hands and cut off the top of the peppers. Next, slice the pepppers down one side, open it flat, and remove the seeds. The peppers can be rinsed to remove every spec of char, but rinsing dilutes the flavor, so I don't recommend it. Cut the peppers in long strips, place on a small plate, and serve. Red peppers purchased out of season are better when lightly dressed with salt and pepper and an aromatic olive oil.
NOTE: The smoother and more uniform the shape, the more evenly the peppers will roast. The deeper the red, the better the flavor.
|... an excerpt of:
"The Magic Of Fire" (Ten Speed Press)
click on the cover to see it at Amazon.com