Saturday, January 19, 2008

smoky red pepper tomato stew

This was designed to use up the big bag of red peppers for a dollar that jumped into my shopping bag at haymarket and demanded to be eaten as soon as possible. For all you who do not like to eat dead bodies, just leave out the bacon.

1 streak of bacon (optional, alternatively a glug of olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 rib of celery, chopped
4 small or 2 normal sized red peppers
1 28 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (muir glen)
1 pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp oregano
1 can of chickpeas
1 handful of chopped parsley

Cut the peppers in halfs, put them on a baking sheet and then under the broiler until their skin starts to blacken. this should take about 10 minutes but it's better to keep an eye on them as you don't really know what kind of things are flammable until you put them under a broiler. Once black spots start to appear on their skin, take them out, leave for a minute or two to cool and then chop them in little strips.

Meanwhile, if using, chop the bacon in little pieces and put them in a large pan or wok on medium heat. (Alternatively just heat the olive oil in the pan.) When they start frying, add the onion and garlic and celery and saute for a few minutes on medium high heat until the onion starts to brown and everything starts smelling very, very good.

Throw in the peppers and tip in the tomatoes and the drained chickpeas, salt to taste and add the oregano and the cayenne. Simmer for about 10 min. Check for salt and or pepper and top with the chopped parsley.

I ate this topped with some crumbled feta and a fried egg as I believe very strongly that (almost) everything tastes better when you put an egg on top.

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