Pepper Coulis

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/4 cup onion, minced OR 1 medium shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded, diced
1 tablespoon vinegar such as red wine, rice, sherry, or even balsamic
2 tablespoons white wine such as sauvignon blanc, or chardonnay
Salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

METHOD:

In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion or shallot, and cook to soften. Lower the heat to medium, then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant and soft.

Add the peppers and stir to mix well. Cook to heat. Add the vinegar and cook to reduce by 80%. Add the wine and cook to reduce by 50%. Add the salt and pepper.

Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender — be careful! When blending hot items, they expand and can explode out of the blender and burn you! Cover the lid of the blender with a large thick kitchen towel, and start the blender on the lowest speed and work your way up to a speed that will liquefy the ingredients.

Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Usually it needs a little tartness or sweetness if it needs anything. Achieve the balance by adding small amounts of sugar or vinegar as needed.

Pour through a strainer into a clean pan. Warm up a little before using. Don’t get it too hot or you may lose some of the “brightness” of the flavors.

CHEF NOTES:

  • Use this sauce under a piece of fish that has some tomatoes and a light vinaigrette with basil on top.
  • Good on roast chicken with cumin rubbed on.
  • I have made this sauce with different colors of peppers and then put each color on the plate for a striking effect.
  • If using green bells, try to find the ones about to turn color so the sauce is not so “green” tasting, especially if you are serving wine with the meal.
  • This same basic technique is how green chile sauce is made. When roasting the green chilis (Hatch or Anaheims), roast a couple cloves of garlic as well some onion. Scrape the char from the onion and peel the garlic, then add the ingredients to the blender. Add a pinch of toasted cumin and coriander powder, and enough liquid (water or stock) to get the stuff moving, and blend the ingredients until not quite smooth for a taste of the Southwest.  Can be served warmed or mix into stews.
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