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Monday, August 29, 2011

Roast Red Peppers Sandwiches on Focaccia

It is hot. Hotter than Hades around here. I believe it got up to 107 yesterday. So hot, in fact, that my local hometown newspaper ran an article in which some of my townspeople, I'm ashamed to admit, explain that they have found it necessary to carry water bottles... and (oh! The horror!) rent a movie instead of heading out to the park. My hometown newspaper is fabulous for great tidbits like these.

At any rate, if there is one thing I am not so interested in when it's ridiculously hot out, it's cooking.

I thought that sandwiches would be a fabulous dinner, but I wanted to make them a tad more special than the usual PB&J that makes its way to school in the lunchbox every day.

Veggie sandwiches were the order of the day... and I did end up cooking a little bit. I roasted the peppers, so the broiler was on. But only for about 10 minutes, so that doesn't count. And I did bake the focaccia, but that was early in the morning, so that doesn't count either.

I love love love roasted red bell peppers, and here is how I do them (they work great on the grill as well, but it was to hot to go outside and stand near the grill, so I did them in the oven this time).

Turn on the broiler, and scrub the peppers clean.

Place the whole, uncut pepper straight onto the oven rack, near the broiling element. (If you place a baking sheet on a lower rack, it catches the dripping pepper juices, which will make cleaning up much easier). Turn the peppers every couple of minutes with a pair of tongs. You want the pepper to get as black and blistery as possible all over. It will take a total of about 10 minutes.

After the pepper is blackened, take it out of the oven and place it into a plastic or paper bag, and close up the bag. Wait a few minutes while it gets all sweaty and steamy. When you take it out, the skin should peel right off the pepper, leaving you with a delicious roasted, skinless bell pepper. Cut it up, removing the seeds, stem, and ribs. For sandwiches, I leave it in pretty big planks.

Once you have your bread and your roasted peppers, it's just a matter of stacking up a sandwich and enjoying the life of Riley. Especially if you lived the life of Cinderella earlier this summer and made some pesto and some pickles that you can grab.

Mine had lettuce, tomato, bread and butter pickles, sharp cheese, roasted peppers, and pesto.