More than one way to skin a pepper

Bell peppers make an excellent addition to tomato-based sauces in Italian and Indian recipes, but pureed they ruin the mouthfeel with little pieces of skin. No matter how long you cook it, the skin never softens. Today I tried two ways of removing the skin from bell peppers.

Burning

I tried holding the pepper in the flame of my gas hob until the skin blackened. I had mixed success — the skin came off more easily in some areas but there were places I struggled to char with my small hob, and I wasn’t able to scrape off. I don’t have a grill or broiler at my apartment — looking online that looks like a better way to do this if you have the equipment; you can get the surface black all over and it’ll peel off in one piece.

Cook, blend then sieve

Sieving pureed peppers is a pain in the butt.

Conclusion

Removing the skin is a pain either way. If you have a grill or broiler, and you can get the skin throughly burned, that’s the way to go. The downside of the sieve method is the time it takes. I’ve ordered a hand-crank strainer with good reviews (amazon) that I hope will speed that up. I’ll try that next time I make a tomato & bell pepper sauce.

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