For whole peppers, remove stems and microwave for 1 -2 minutes or until tender.
To fire-roast whole peppers, cut a small slit near the stem of each one. Impale each pepper on a long-handled cooking fork and hold over the flame. Place the charred peppers in a bowl, cover with a pot lid or a plate, and let steam for about 15 minutes to loosen skin. Scrape off the skin with a table knife (doing this under running water is helpful), cut open and remove seeds if desired.
You can broil or grill sliced peppers (or you can fire-roast whole peppers over an open flame; see below). To prepare peppers for broiling, slice the pepper lengthwise in half. Discard stem and seeds. Lay the pieces on the grill skin-side down, or on a broiler pan skin-side up, and cook about 4" from the heat until the skin is blackened. Place the charred peppers in a bowl, cover with a pot lid or a plate, and let them "sweat" for about 15 minutes; this will loosen the skin. Then scrape off the skin with a table knife (doing this under running water is helpful). Cooking time: 6 - 10 minutes.
Slice peppers lengthwise and place in a baking dish (alone or with other vegetables). Bake in a 350°F oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until tender. If filling peppers with stuffing such as cheese, stuff the peppers and place them in a baking pan in which they will fit snugly. Bake in a 375°F oven until the filling is heated through and the peppers are tender.
To freeze whole peppers, wash, remove seeds and stem, cut in half and blanch for 3 minutes. Immerse in ice water immediately after blanching. For diced or strips of pepper, blanching is not required.