Peppers (bell peppers to our American cousins, and capsicums to many areas of the world) are one of my absolute favourite things in food. Left beside the salad cart with a tray of sliced peppers and a creamy mayonnaise or ranch dressing I will soon be left holding an empty bowl. It’s the freshness, the sweetness and crunchy texture I love. Yet they are still delcious when cooked, juicy and vibrant, often adding the fleck of colour that the plate of brown mince needs.
Sometimes I want the flavours of the peppers to be really enhanced, I’ve adapted this recipe of Gordon Ramsay’s to pack a real flavour punch. Tangy vinegar gives you that beautiful sour edge, and the stock provides a luscious glaze that makes them irresistible. In this recipe I don’t bother picking the thyme leaves, but rather leave a healthy bundle strapped together and tossed with the frying peppers. This way some little bits fall off and the quick frying imparts their woody aroma and you can discard the garni afterwards. If you’re ambivalent about peppers, give this one a whirl alongside some grilled meat – they really sing.
Sweet and sour peppers:
2 peppers, sliced
Bunch of thyme, bound together with string
A few tablespoons of white wine vinegar
A few tablespoons of chicken stock
- Get a pan really hot and add a splash of olive oil. Chuck the peppers and thyme in and get stir-frying. I prefer the peppers to be unscorched for this one, but you can let them blacken if you like.
- Continue frying for a couple of minutes until they start to become tender. Drizzle over some white wine vinegar and toss thoroughly.
- Once the vinegar has started to disappear, chuck over some chicken stock (barely enough to cover them all) and toss to coat the peppers well. Keep everything moving until everything is covered in a sticky glaze.
- Taste a small chunk of pepper, checking for acidity (lots of this is good) and season as necessary.