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I was stuck in a pepper rut. When you have so many fresh, sweet peppers this isn’t a bad thing but where is the creativity in eating so many iterations of peppers in salads and stir fries? Then my CSA (community shared agriculture farm near us) gave me a pre-roasted bag of hatch and poblano chilies. *palm to forehead* That is right you can ROAST peppers. It is fall. Roasted veggies go perfect with fall!
Once I get produce from the CSA I am not sure what I want to do with I tend to follow these steps:
- Queue flipping through some of my favorite cookbooks that might deal with that ingredient;
- Queue flipping through some of my favorite bloggers websites that might deal with that ingredient;
- Queue searching Pinterest, Google, and FoodGawker to see what comes up in the first few pages for that ingredient;
- If still not satisfied, realize maybe I should work off an idea that somewhat interested me from the 3 options above, try it and blog it because I could not find it before!
With the roasted spicy peppers I reached step 4. There were so many roasted sweet pepper recipes out there but all of the roasted spicy pepper recipes I could find were either sauces or, rarely, soups. Neither idea was inspiring to me but one recipe had stuck in my head – The Pioneer Woman’s Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. I had never had red pepper pasta before and was curious how it would taste in general but even more curious how it would taste with a slightly spicy pepper kick. Thus this Sweet & Spicy Red Pepper Sauce was born!
This post was inspired by The Pioneer Woman but I made a lot of changes to fit the produce I had grown in my yard this year (#eatwhatyougrow). I think those changes produced a super delicious sauce that is vegetarian, and if you don’t use butter – vegan, that can be used as a base for a lot of dishes. The best of which I made was the pasta. Because I used it in many different dishes, the main sauce recipe itself is short ¼ cup of liquid per cup of sauce – or ½ cup for the whole recipe. I will give a few examples of different liquids I added that changed the sauce below.
Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce
Recipe modified from The Pioneer Woman. Makes about 2 cups of sauce.
5 ounce of Spicy Peppers – I used pre-roasted poblanos and hatch chilis
8 ounces of Sweet Peppers – I used my Corno di Toros but any sweet pepper works
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound of tomatoes, cut in quarters – I used my heirloom ones from the garden. You can use roma here as well.
salt and pepper
small amount of water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
- Take the peppers and coat them lightly in olive oil. Place under broiler in oven. Broil, rotating, until all sides are blistered. Remove and place in a covered container to steam. (You can also do this step over the gas burner on a stove but I don’t have one…yet!)
- Turn oven on to 400° F. Cut tomatoes up in quarters, toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in baking dish1I highly recommend something with sides – a dish and not a pan. The tomatoes will loose a lot of liquid and if you use a baking pan, unless yours has high sides, it can get messy when you try and take it out of the oven. I did this when roasting tomatoes for soup and was very sad. Lightly coat with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes until tomatoes are nicely roasted. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While tomatoes are roasting remove the skin and seeds from the peppers. Depending on your spicy peppers you might want to wear gloves for this step. Set aside.
- Put pan over medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of butter, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add in peppers. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Place the tomatoes into a liquid measuring cup. They should have cooked down to a little under a cup of liquid and tomato. Add enough water or vegetable broth to make it equal to a cup. If it is more than a cup, remove some of the tomato liquid or be happy with a little more tomato in the sauce!
- Add tomatoes into pan, cook for another 2 minutes.
- Spoon all the mixture into a food processor or a blender and process until smooth.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the warm pan. Once it is melted add back in pepper and tomato mixture. Salt and pepper as desired and stir until back up to temperature.
- Put into jars for later use or eat immediately. If you plan to eat it right away add ½ cup a a liquid straight to the whole batch.
Now adding the additional ½ cup of liquid (to the full recipe ¼ liquid per cup of sauce) is where it gets fun! You can do a lot with this sauce. Here are a few suggestions of things I tried:
- Add cream to sauce, add cooked pasta, and then cut some fresh basil on top. This follows the traditional The Pioneer Woman recipe and is AMAZING. This is probably my favorite way to eat this sauce. I use half as much cream because Mr. Physics doesn’t like it too creamy and it works equally well.
- Add ¼ cup coconut milk, 1 tsp garam masala, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, and ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger to 1 cup of the sauce. Cook tofu or chicken and any other vegetables (eggplant works great) you would like separately and add them in. Toss until fully coated. This ends up being kind of like curry and is great over rice.
- Add vegetable stock or water (or depending how thick you want the sauce, nothing) then spoon the sauce over tamales, enchiladas, chili relleños, huevos rancheros, you get the idea. It works great as a Mexican style sauce.
- Or create your own. Go wild. Have fun and tell me what you came up with!