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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yummy Sweet Peppers, Garlic, Onion and Olive Oil [Cook Challenge: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking]

Sorry, I don't actually know the actual name for this dish. So I called it what it is. Four ingredients, that's it. I recently visited my cousin's family in the DC area. Her husband is a born and bred Italian. So she's picked up the yummiest recipes over the years when she visits his family in Italy. Our challenge was to cook from scratch. I'll admit, it's an easy one for me because that's really all I do. But here's what I've been making for my lunches since I returned from vacation. (Leftovers store well.)

A while back Gina posted the Catenzaro Italian Spaghetti & Sausage recipe. In her words, "don't be surprised by how easy the recipe is, and how few ingredients there are." The same goes here folks. Really, everything I've learned from my cousin's mother-in-law, via my cousin, has only a couple ingredients and it is SO good and flavorful. So here's how you make this one.

One bag of mini sweet peppers from Costco (of course you can get them anywhere)
One onion (I've used regular yellow or white or sweet Walla Walla - they all work)
3 bulbs Garlic (that's the full bulb, not a little clove - but put in what you are comfortable with)
Olive Oil

I slice the onion first, do the painful thing and get any possible tears out of the way first. Slice, don't chop. Place in the pan.

(I figure you don't need an image of a sliced onion...)

I clean off the garlic skins, cut off the ends and then cut each bulb in half (the really big ones in three maybe.) But you want big pieces of garlic. This isn't really the seasoning, it's part of the dish. You'll cook it so long, the garlic chunks will be soft and sweet - SO good. This one you do chop so to say. Add to the pan.

Big chunks of garlic
Cut of the tops and bottoms of the peppers, slice 'em in half and clean out the guts (you know, the seeds and the white stuff) and slice the long way (top to bottom). They are mini peppers so you won't have terribly long slices, but again, slice, don't chop. Add to pan.

Lots of peppers
Get a good mix of yellow, orange and red
Now I eyeball the olive oil. This isn't Rachel Ray adding a couple swigs of EVOO to the pan. You need to coat the veggies. I add enough to make the veggies shine. (To quote Cristian, my cousin's hubbie, "the best part is the sauce.") I'd say the more sauce the better but this is oil, so you don't want pools on the bottom of the pan. Remember as the veggies cook down, they do add some of their own juices to the sauce.

Hopefully you can kind of see the glistening of the olive oil coated veggies

I simmer in the covered pan (don't want to lose any liquids... sauce...) at medium heat for about 20 minutes, and then I allow it to cook, still covered, at low heat for at least 40 minutes. At first, you'll really smell the garlic and the onion, but about 40 minutes in, the sweet smell starts to really come out. Cook for about an hour in all or longer if you want, stirring or tossing the veggies every ten minutes or so.

I added extra sauce to this plate, just so you could see it.
You should get enough extra sauce if served with a spoon.
Hopefully you get the idea.
Serve with bread (you need something to dip in the sauce.)


ps: if you can think of a better name, I'm open for suggestions.


Emily said...

That looks delicious Caprene, simple is usually better. I can't wait to try it, and I like the name just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious