Friday, February 15, 2013

Freezing Bell Peppers

Even in the winter, bell peppers periodically go on sale. I recently found red peppers for 77¢ and green ones for 25¢ which is quite a deal. Peppers, particularly the red, can be very expensive, so it was time to stock up. I like to buy a bunch of them when they are on sale and either roast them or chop them up and freeze them. We did a post on roasting peppers last summer. This is another way to stockpile peppers: dice them up and freeze them for use in soups, stews, and sauces. We recently posted a chicken curry recipe where you could use frozen peppers rather than fresh. Their texture will get soft when you defrost them, making them unsuitable for salads. But, if you are going to cook them, this is a great way to save some money by stocking up during a sale. You also speed up prep time later by chopping the peppers in advance.

Make sure to wash the peppers first. Cut it in half the long way, then cut each half in half, again cutting stem to base so you have 4 quarters. This makes it easier to cut away the white membranes, especially if you make the cut along side one of the ribs with the white membrane. Cut out the stem, seeds, and white membranes. Slice into strips and then cut into small squares. Doesn't need to be perfect little squares, but try to keep the square size fairly uniform. I find a ¼"  to ⅜" dice is a good size for most recipes

A medium pepper yields about 1 ¼ cup of diced peppers. Just measure out the frozen peppers for your recipe - they usually don't freeze into a solid block so they are easy to measure.

Here's a turkey meatloaf recipe that uses frozen diced peppers.

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