From Chef Oonagh Williams of
Royal Temptations Catering
Tips and Alternatives:
Add artichokes, sundried tomatoes, spicy peppers, shrimp instead of crab, cilantro, lemon thyme – your choice. We ate it with gluten-free tortilla chips.
I recommend roasting your own peppers. I have found that my own peppers tend to be softer and sweeter than jarred peppers. Using fresh pepper also leaves you the option to add some balsamic or lemon juice and more fresh herbs. Both types of peppers are still good for the recipe, but buying a bag of fresh red peppers is also a money saver!
The dip is also great when baked on fish. You can even make a layer of tortilla chips on large tray, put dollops of mix on top, bake, then top with chopped tomatoes and lettuce.
How to Make Roasted Red Peppers
To prepare my own red peppers, I halve the peppers, remove seeds, stem, and thick ribbing and place halves cut side down on a lined baking sheet. I then roast the peppers for 30-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the flesh feels softer and the skin is definitely wrinkling. Just leave them alone to roast. Some peppers are thinner and will soften sooner. Don’t overcook until they are collapsing or you’ll have no pepper left.
After this time, turn the broiler on and broil the peppers until they have blackened evenly on the skin side. Rotate pan to blacken evenly. This should only take 1-2 minutes at the very most for the skin to blacken since you are starting with hot cooked peppers. Turn broiler off, remove peppers from oven and leave peppers to cool. I normally put another pan on top of the pepper pan to allow the peppers to steam, which makes it easier to remove the skin. Peel peppers (don’t rinse them) and store in Tupperware style container. If you think you won’t use them up in a week to 10 days, then freeze them flat in plastic bags.