Grilled Peppers

A pretty essential classic. Italian inspired, goes great with all meats as a side, but can also be used in salads and such. Can be made ahead and kept in the fridge, which I think is key for a BBQ side dish, as that means I can focus 100% on the BBQ when that’s what I’m doing. This is how I normally do it:

Grilling peppers over direct heat

Time: 45-60 minutes total
Skill level: Easy
Grilling method: Direct
Grill temperature: About 200-250 degrees centigrade  (390-480F)You’ll need to get hold of:
Peppers (I like to mix up the colors for visual appeal)
A lemon
Some good olive oil of the expensive kind

How you do it:

  • Have a hot grill waiting (don’t you always?)
  • This step is optional: Cut the top and bottom parts off the peppers. Slice the peppers lengthwise. I usually slice them in three or four slices, depends on the shape of the peppers, but the goal is to make it easy to get even grilling. Sometimes I also grill them whole, but that requires more tong-work
  • Put them on the grill, skin side down, and let them roast until the skin is black and starts peeling. Burning the (pepper’s) flesh a little is not a bad thing
  • When they’re done roasting, put them all in a bowl that you cover with some clingfilm. Let them rest for 30 minutes. This will make the skin loosen much easier due to the moisture being trapped in, and as an added bonus they will be cooler so you don’t burn your fingers in the next step
  • One rested, use your fingers to peel off all (or most of) the skin
  • Cut the pepper pieces into thin strips lengthwise, chuck them in a bowl, drizzle with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Red Onion Compote

Red onion compote – so tasty!

This is a great side dish that goes well with a lot of things. I use it with gourmet sausages and hot dogs, burgers, lamb, duck, all kinds of game meat, and of course; pork. It can also be made a couple days ahead, and because of the vinegar it will stay good in the fridge for some time. It’s the one dish the most people have asked me about a recipe for. This recipe is for a fairly large portion, but I’ve never had to throw any out…Time: 30-45 minutes total

Skill level: Easy

You’ll need to get hold of:
4 big, red onions
3 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of prunes
1/2 cup of raisins
Cayenne pepper
Good Balsamic Vinegar or Crema de Balsamico

How you do it:

  • Get a frying pan, set your stove on low and put the butter in
  • Slice the onions, in small squares, small long slices, whatever way you like them
  • Throw the onions in the pan together with the 3 tbsp of sugar, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir occasionally.
  • While you’re waiting slice the prunes in thinnish slices
  • When the onions have cooked for 15-20 minutes, throw in the prunes and the raisins
  • If you’re reducing your own balsamic vinegar, throw that in there now, about half a cup should do it
  • If you’re using crema (I usually do, because it’s easier and just as good), wait another 5-10 minutes, then throw in about 4-5 tbsp of Crema di Balsamico.
  • Season to taste. I use about a teaspoon of cayenne for an extra kick, in addition to salt and pepper
  • One the compote has the right consistency for you, turn off the stove and let it cool. I usually serve it warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!