Chachouka (bell pepper preserves)

A mild Moroccan appetizer

INGREDIENTS:
3 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
2 pounds tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons paprika (not hot)
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch of chili powder
salt

YIELD: undetermined

COURSE: Appetizers Tapas Meze

CUISINE: Moroccan

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grill bell peppers under the broiler as close to the element as possible, turning as soon as the tops blacken. When the peels are pretty much all black, remove from oven and cool. Peel bell peppers, remove stems, seeds and white filaments and dice the flesh. This step can actually be avoided if you buy a jar of already roasted bell peppers from the Parthenon supermarket on Broadway
  2. Plunge tomatoes into boiling water for 10 seconds, then cold water, and then peel. Chop. Peel garlic cloves and press. Chop parsley and cilantro.
  3. In a frying pan, heat the oil. Saute bell peppers for several minutes while stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, garlic, chopped herbs, paprika and cumin. Season to taste with pinches of chili powder. Add salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often, until vegetable water has completely evaporated. When done cooking, the bell peppers should look like preserves. Serve hot with grilled meat or cold as a first course.