Intending to roast more red peppers, I picked up three very large ones at the market for $1 each, day before yesterday. They looked so lush and inviting on the kitchen counter, my partner suggested we have stuffed peppers for our special Friday night dinner. That’s how yesterday’s lengthy post came about…I was thinking peppers.
You can see I had to encourage them to play snuggle together in my 7 X 12 ceramic baking dish. I was rushing to get them in the oven on time, so I didn’t trim the white membranes carefully with a knife. What I pulled out with my hands is all I removed.
The seeds and stems get tossed out the back door for whatever wildlife browses by: Western and Eastern cottontails, mule deer, collared peccaries, and, of course, squirrels who might like the seeds.
I mentioned tenting the dish. Of course, if your baking dish has its own cover, aluminum foil is unnecessary. However, acidic foods should never bee cooked in aluminum. If you cover lasagna (or our tomatoey stuffed peppers) with aluminum foil, whether in the refrigerator for a few days or in the oven a few minutes, there will be some breakdown of the aluminum by the acid.
On foil, that shows up as dark pin pricks. On the food, it shows as white spots. While some online cooks and Extension Service Officers say the jury is out on whether eating aluminum is harmful, for me it is enough that it is called into question!
“Is this poison?” you ask.
“We don’t know,” we say.
“OK, I guess I’ll eat it.”
Is Homer Simpson your nutrition advisor?
After the ends of the foil are secured to the dish, it’s easier to pull up the middle. Your tent doesn’t have to have vaulted ceilings like the one shown here. Just keep the foil off the tomatoes!
We baked ours 2.25 hours at 350. I turned it up to about 375 for 10-15 minutes near the end of that, because these peppers were huge, with thick skins! After they fork-tested tender, we sprinkled about 2 teaspoonfuls of finely grated Mexican style cheese on each one, popped them back in the oven, turned the oven off, and waited a bit under 10 minutes for the cheese to melt.
They were a big hit! Everyone had seconds!