Roasted Bell Pepper Hors d'oeuvres
Like with life, sometimes with food, what you see is not what you get. Appearances can be deceptive, and so can first impressions. The most comforting, delicious food need not photograph well and may not even illicit signs of awe, that a french macaron or a sugar sculpture can, but who is to say what can feed the appetite and soothe the soul. For some, it may be mom's meatloaf or that aroma of vanilla that permeates the kitchen when a cake rises in the oven. Like life, food deserves a second chance and an open mind.
Bell peppers are an ingredient that finds itself in everything ranging from stir frys to dips, simply tweaking the method of preparation brings out a subtle quality of the bell pepper, a smoky sweetness that pairs with poultry as well as seafood.
Roasted Bell Peppers, in its nascent stage looks charred and unsavoury - something that deserves to be tossed out - but on a second thought, just peeling the dark skin reveals a slick, sweet and smoky rendering of the bell pepper that is a bounty only for the patient. Roasting bell peppers is surprisingly easy - all one needs to do is turn up the broiler and place the bell peppers under it, turning occassionally till all the sides turn black.
The cooled bell peppers now, after removing the seeds, can be preserved in olive oil, to be tossed later in a pasta salad, or to be layered in a panini for an easy summer meal, or can serve as a tasty envelope for any filling that your heart desires.
Roast Bell peppers(4) under a hot broiler till the skin is charred. Let cool, peel the skin & remove the seeds and cut into strips an inch and a half wide.
For the filling:
Mix shredded, cooked chicken (2 cups) with pesto (3 Tbsp.), lime juice(1 Tbsp.) and fresh chopped basil(1 Tsp.). Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the roasted bell pepper strips, and roll tightly. Refrigerate these rolls for an hour, slice into bite-sized pieces and serve topped with french fried onions.