August 31, 2012

Skillet Grilled Peppers and Onions for Tacos


I am personally not a huge fan of char grilled food. I was never much of a meat lover and nor have I ever particularly enjoyed foods dominated by the flavor of smoke. But I do appreciate how the grill facilitates simple cooking and minimal clean up. This summer I enjoyed experimenting with cooking outdoors in new ways. My cast iron skillet became my best tool.

This recipe for grilled peppers and onions is easy, relatively fool proof, and so very good. I made it for the first time over Memorial Day weekend to go into tacos, and it was a big hit. As you cannot argue with success, I feel that it is only fitting to officially mark the end of summer for Labor Day bookended by a similar meal. One of the things that is so great about this recipe is that increasing the quantities only amounts to increasing the ingredients and is great to make for a big crowd. The toughest part of preparation is keeping an eye on the temperature of the enclosed grill. Otherwise you are free to relax with friends and watch the kids swim while the grill does the work.

Serve this dish along with your choice of grilled corn, sweet pea guacamole, black beans, brown rice, pico de gallo, crisp greens, and grilled tortillas (blue corn, brown rice, whole wheat) for insanely good tacos. If I am serving many guests, I put them all out for a 'make your own' event. It's fun, casual, and relaxed.

Skillet Grilled Peppers and Onions
Serves 6
For all ingredients, please use only those that are organic or grown without pesticides.
2 red onions, thinly sliced
3 sweet bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
1 10-12 inch cast iron pan
Combine all of the ingredients in the cast iron pan. Use your hands or tongs to toss them all together until the vegetables are coated with the olive oil.
Heat the grill to about 375 F with the lid closed.
Put the cast iron pan with the vegetables onto the rack of the grill and close the lid.
*If you are making corn or anything else on the grill, begin cooking those items at the same time as you put the peppers on.
Check the temperature from time to time to be sure that the heat does not go over 400 F. If your grill does not have a built in thermostat, use an oven thermometer or use your best judgement by checking from time to time to make sure that the vegetables do not burn.
After about 15 minutes, use a wooden spoon to mix the peppers and onions. At this point, the onions will start become translucent in appearance. Close the lid for another 15 minutes and give them another stir. At this point, they are ready, but given it another 15 minutes so the peppers and onions begin to caramelize.
Use pot holders to remove the pan from the grill. Serve directly from the pan or transfer to a fresh plate.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
The vegetables will hold nicely stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days and are delicious added to salads or pasta with tomatoes and basil.


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Categories: Vegan Entrees, Vegetables

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