It's tent city outside as we entertain twenty to twenty five family and friends here in Wanaka - fortunately the weather has been stunning for the last two weeks! The next post will be a no-knead bread to mix then leave in the 'frig overnight, ready just to rise and cook in the morning. Vogel style, with a little pomegranate molasses . . .
ROAST CAPSICUM & ALMOND SAUCE
This roasted capsicum/tomato/ almond sauce is a version of the Spanish Romescu sauce, and is a great complement to eggplant fritters, steamed green beans or asparagus. It’s also good as a dip, with some chopped fresh coriander.
Mellow but complex flavours in this sauce are captivating, and accentuated by roasting the capsicums and the tomatoes.
4 large red capsicums4 large tomatoes, preferably acid free
½ cup whole blanched almonds, roasted
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Heat the oven to 190 C.Cut the capsicums in half, discarding the core and seeds. Cut the tomatoes in half.
Place both the capsicums and the tomatoes cut-side down on a baking tray or trays, in single layers, and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the skins when cool enough to handle.
While the tomatoes and capsicums are baking, toast the almonds on a separate tray for 7 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and cool.
Transfer the toasted, cooled almonds to a food processor and grind finely but leave in the processor bowl.
Peel both the tomatoes and the capsicums, discarding some of the tomato seeds without making an issue of it. Transfer the tomatoes and capsicums to the processor, on top of the almonds. Add the garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, chilli, salt and olive oil and puree until smooth.
Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl or jug, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Bring to room temperature before serving
This peanut sauce is quick to make and lovely as a sauce for Rice Paper Salad Rolls, shallow fried or baked tofu, or vegetarian kebabs (if using tofu for these, organic tofu is perfect, cut into 2cm cubes and marinated in hoi sin sauce with sesame oil and ginger) - marinated tofu, onion, courgette, mushrooms, etc. Soak bamboo skewers first, and brush the veg. kebabs with oil before barbecuing. Serve with either of the sauces here, or mix your own using sweet chilli sauce, soy, fresh coriander and minced ginger.Recipe is easily doubled.
¾ cup coconut cream plus 2 Tbsp extra
1 tsp red curry paste
1Tbsp kecap manis*
salt to taste
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate**
Heat the coconut cream in a small, heavy based saucepan and bring to simmer point. Combine the curry paste with the extra 2 Tbsp coconut cream to make a slurry.Whisk in the red curry paste slurry, followed by the remaining ingredients. Ensure that the sauce is whisked smooth and that there are no red curry paste or peanut butter lumps.
Simmer over a low heat stirring regularly for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce reaches the desired thickness.
*Kecap manis is a sweet soy sauce.
**Tamarind pulp is available in blocks from any Asian store and is preferable to the concentrate or pulp in jars. Break up and soak 125g block in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes, then strain through a sieve into a bowl. Any extra can be frozen for adding to sauces, stews, lentils, etc or buy a good quality tamarind concentrate.