You know the warning about wearing gloves when dealing with hot peppers?  I do.  Quite well, in fact.

Did I heed that warning when cleaning that pound-plus of long hot peppers today?!?  Of course not.  I don’t have any gloves in the house!  Several hours later, I can still feel a bit of burn in my hands.  The only good thing about it is it’s keeping me focused to keep from rubbing my eyes.

I would die.

I almost died cleaning them.  I have never coughed and sneezed so much doing anything.  Ever.  They were totally overwhelming.  Non-stop sneezing and coughing.  Rivulets of water pouring from my eyes.

I loved every minute of it.

I usually get long Italian peppers to mix with the hots, but the produce store was out of them this morning.  Plan B.  Red and green bells, cut into strips.

Now… Victor usually does the peppers.  He’s the Italian.  He knows his peppers.  But he was working today and I wanted them with dinner.  Time to do it, myself.

I mixed about 2 pounds each of red and green bell peppers with the pound and a quarter or so of the hots.  Into a really large skillet with olive oil and eventually, some salt and pepper.

Just before they were done, I shredded 3 cloves of garlic into them.   The garlic gets bitter if ya put it in too soon.

90 degrees outside and I opened windows and turned on the exhaust fan to fry them up.  The breeze blowing through kept me from keeling over in the kitchen.  Those peppers are wicked!

The peppers keep for a really long time in the ‘fridge (not that we allow them to stay around long…) They go with just about anything, from sausages to sandwiches, steaks to salads.

And speaking of peppers…  here’s a recipe I used to make all of the time and haven’t in a few years.  Red Pepper Relish. This one really lasts forever in the ‘fridge.  It’s from Chris Leishman’s cook book Recipes From The Heart.  It’s one of those things you end up finding a million and one uses for.  It’s especially good on a cold flank steak sandwich on a crusty french roll.  Find some red peppers on sale and go make a batch!

The fried peppers made the perfect accompaniment to dinner tonight.  Grilled Italian sausages, grilled polenta, broccoli rabe, and a loaf of crusty Italian bread.

For the polenta, I used 2 cups of non fat milk, 3/4 cup of polenta, salt & pepper, and about 2 ounces of asaiago cheese.  When it was cooked, I put it into a well-buttered 8″x8″ pan and when it was relatively cool, cut it into quarters and each quarter diagonally.  Onto the grill for a few minutes.

The broccoli rabe was sauteed with onions in olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar.

It really was a simple dinner with some really awesome flavors.

For dessert, we have more Boston Cream Pie.

There’s also fresh peach ice cream, but, really…  One dessert at a time.