Tag Archives: red bell peppers

Braised Bell Peppers

26 Feb

I have a new favorite supermarket, Plaza Loíza.  It’s what the call locally, Cash & Carry, but lately they have awesome produce.  I love that when I do groceries there, I can fill up a few bags of groceries and only spend $30, while at Grande 24hrs I can spend the same amount and only have 1 small little bag with me.  Amazing…

The other day Plaza Loíza had bell peppers on sale.  All bell peppers, regardless of their color – green, red, yellow or orange – all were at $1.99/lb.  If you’re a fan of bell peppers and live in PR, you’d know this is a bargain.  You can find the green ones at this price, but reds, yellow and orange too!!!!  Very difficult to find…

Now that I had these peppers, I wanted to do something special with them.  I found a recipe for braised bell peppers in an old Cooking Light cookbook.  Of course I changed it a bit to make it in a smaller quantity and to make good with what I had in the pantry.  It turned out so delicious I decided to share it with you…



About 1 tbs olive oil
2 tsps of sofrito
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 ½ onions, sliced
A pinch of anise seed
1 tbs of tomato paste
1 cup of water
1 tbs ume plum vinegar
1 tbs fresh basil – or you could use freeze-dried too
Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet with tall sides over medium heat, add the oil, sofrito, pepper and onion strips.  Season with salt.  Sauté for a few minutes for the veggies to start to become soft.  Add a pinch of anise seeds.
  2. After about 10 minutes of cooking, add the tomato paste and mix well with the peppers/onions.  Add the water and mix it all well.  Bring to a boil.  When it does, lower the heat and partially cover.  Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are soft. 
  3. After peppers are soft, stir in basil and vinegar.  Add pepper.  Turn of the stove and cover.  Let the heat from the pot and stove finish melding the flavors together.


I used ume plum vinegar, an Asian-type vinegar and it tasted really delicious.  The vinegar tinge was there, but much subtle.

Pasta Romesco

29 Dec

 The other day I was overzealous making a party dip made from red bell peppers, Muhamara, and I ended up with so much that I used one part for the party I was making it originally and another part I used it to make this pasta dish.

I decided to call it Pasta Romesco instead of Pasta Muhamara, in honor of the dip, because I noticed the ingredients in the dip were almost the same as a romesco sauce I had learned a few years back from a recipe book for IBS patients.  Red bell peppers, bread, walnuts, balsamic vinegar, etc.  I have seen other romesco sauces that use tomatoes as a base, but the one I learned first used red bell peppers, so we’re sticking to that version.

This pasta is evidence this dip is very versatile as it is delicious.



½ packet of whole-wheat pasta
¾ cup of the Muhamara dip
¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated


  1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions.  Remember to salt the water well.
  2. When the pasta is done, drain the pasta saving about 1 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Return the pasta to the pot where you boiled it and add the Muhamara dip.  If you feel the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to thin it out.  Add the grated cheese and mix well to combine.
  4. Add more grated cheese on top to serve.


24 Dec

Now that the holidays are here, I am the designated dip maker for all the parties I’ve been invited to.  I had found red bell peppers on sale and wanted to make something special with them.

A few months back, a KarmaFree Cooking reader mentioned me about Muhamara – a red pepper dip made with pomegranates.  I started looking for recipes on the internet and learning more about it.  Funny, but I found a recipe for Muhamara in my recipe book (the one I have built from magazine clippings that interest me) this version did not include the pomegranates, yet it is very tasty.



2 red bell peppers
½ a 6-inch pita bread  
½ cup water
1 small garlic clove
½ cup of toasted walnuts, plus more for garnish
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Roast peppers until blackened all over under the broiler, turning with tongs as each side is blistered.   I did it in a toaster oven at the highest temperature.  Transfer the peppers to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; let stand about 15 minutes. Peel, and discard skins, stems, and seeds. Set peppers aside.
  2. Toast pita bread until crisp and golden. Break into pieces; place in a bowl, and cover with the water. Soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a sieve, and drain well, pressing out excess water. Set aside.
  3. Combine garlic and walnut pieces in the bowl of a food processor; process until fine crumbs form, about 10 seconds. Add paprika, roasted peppers and pita bread; process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add vinegar, lemon juice, oil, and salt, and season with black pepper. Pulse until combined.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Before serving, bring to room temperature. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with walnuts.


I served this dip with Wheat Thins.  It was delicious.  It definitely tastes better the next day when at room temperature.  So plan ahead and make it the day before you’ll be serving it to guests.

This dip was also delicious served inside a sandwich, with tomatoes, lettuce and any other of your favorite fixings.  Or also, you could repurpose it as a pasta sauce

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