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At My Kitchen Table: Bell Peppers &c

Last night, I tried out a recipe from Gourmet's In Short Order that came out very well, but not well enough. I want to give it another try before passing it along with my little changes. Hint: the principal ingredients are shrimp and ripe bell peppers.

I used orange bell peppers. The recipe calls for a mix of red and green, but Kathleen and I can't stand green peppers. It seems to be a class thing. We know lots of people who can't stand bell peppers of any color. I didn't care for red peppers when Kathleen introduced me to them, but I came round, probably because I was doing everything I could think of to make myself attractive to her at the time. Eventually, I really liked them. And yellow ones and orange ones, too. But not green. Green peppers are, and taste, unripe.

I did take a series of snapshots with which to illustrate my forthcoming treatise on the grilled cheese sandwich. The Internet is the perfect location for this study, because I keep improving my method. And I wonder, all of a sudden, what parmesan and pancetta would taste like. Toned down, of course, by a thick slice of gruyère.

On my to-do list: the bread that requires no kneading. I've got all the equipment; now I just have to remember to do it.


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On Friday, at a wonderful little food shop in the West Village called Bonseigneur, one of the displays was a beet salad.

I asked for a container of it, but then saw something I thought was tomato but wasn't sure. I asked if they were red peppers, and she laughed, saying, "No, no peppers in the salad. Today everyone hates peppers: I keep being asked the same question!"

I don't even like looking at them, whatever the color, much less eating them. The "cafeteria" here has them in everything so I am not their best client. I also feel that way about cooked onions, which drives the cooks in my life crazy. Give me a hefty slice of red raw onion for my liversurst sandwiches, but I pass on the cooked......

I have no idea of it is a class thing, but I will say I do not remember them from my yute.

More cooked onion and even peppers go into PPOQ's favorite dishes (see chili and rice pilaf) than he realizes. Since the kitchen is one of the last great autocracies left in the world, a true cook is unruffled by foods "icks" and just forges ahead, secure in the knowledge that a well-prepared meal can contain botulism and soylent green, if presented and sauced properly. If PPOQ really refused cooked onions and bell peppers, he would have starved years ago in his adopted second home, New Orleans, since these two ingredients, along with celery make up the Holy Trinity in most New Orleans dishes.

Dinner at eight dear...

I tend to love peppers in just about any form, and have to say, I still love green peppers. No accounting for taste, I guess. However I wonder why the previously trendy pepper especially of the colored varieties are falling out of favor. Yuppies are so fickle. But if it brings the ridiculous price down that will be a blessing.

Yes, LXIV, undoubtedly there are the unmentionables in your cooking. That which I cannot see, cannot directly taste, is of no concern to me.

And even in my beloved NO, I could be seen to push peppers and cooked onions to the side. Or infuse with several manly shots of Tabasco and gulp down.

At the risk of using this public forum for private matters...

I guess the answer, PPOQ, is to then stay out of the kitchen. Ignorance, in this instance, is truly bliss.

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