We have all seen countless cooking shows where the experienced chef dices a vegetable in nano-seconds, most of us would probably lose a finger if we attempted such rapid knife work so this article details my method for cleaning, coring, slicing and dicing that old salad mainstay – the bell pepper!
First you need to remove any sticky labels from the bell pepper, if a label does not come away cleanly you will need to use a small sharp knife to remove the skin with the glue, you will not be able to wash all of the label glue away and it tastes horrible.
Wash the bell pepper thoroughly under a cold water faucet and dry off with a piece of kitchen paper. Repeat this step for all of the bell peppers you will be preparing.
This is the clever part:
1/ Using a short sharp knife cut around the top of the bell pepper about a 1/2 inch down from the stalk in a complete circle, however, do not remove the top section yet.
2/ Cut around the base of the bell pepper, again about a 1/2 inch from the bottom of the bell pepper in a complete circle.
3/ Now you can remove the base of the pepper and twist the stalk of the pepper, this will remove the top section along with almost all of the core, including most of the seeds!
4/ Now just wash the hollowed out bell pepper under a cold faucet and trim back the core edges with a sharp knife. Wash out any remaining seeds.
The bell pepper is now cored and ready for slicing:
Slicing & Dicing
1/ Place the bell pepper on a cutting board and cut it in half from top to bottom.
2/ Take each half and slice strips about 1/4 inch wide.
3/ Take all of the strips and slice them into 1/4 inch cubes.
Congratulations, you have just sliced and diced your bell pepper like a professional without the need for any of the fancy chopping action!
Martin Holland, website administrator for The Day Lily Cottage – Texas Arts, Crafts & Gifts Store.