Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hot pepper rouille

This red pepper sauce comes from Saha: A chef's journey through Lebanon and Syria, . I'm not sure if the original rouille is a French borrowing from the Levant, or a Levantine borrowing from France, but either way it goes well not just with fish stews but with just about anything else.

2 red peppers
250 g potatoes
300 ml water
5 cloves garlic
2 hot red chillies
juice of 1 lemon
150 ml olive oil

  1. If you can get peeled peppers, just remove any seeds and chop them. Otherwise, put the whole peppers in an oven dish and roast gently for at least half an hour at about 160oC. Then pop them into a plastic bag, seal, and leave to cool for 15 minutes or so before peeling them. Remove the seeds, chop the flesh and proceed.
  2. Peel and quarter the potatoes, peel and chop the garlic, seed and chop the chillies. Put in a saucepan with the water, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to minimum and cook until the potatoes are soft. (About half an hour.) If necessary, add more water, but by the end the pan should be almost dry.
  3. Strain the potatoes, garlic and chillies of any liquid, then put into a liquidiser with the lemon juice and the peppers, and whiz to a puree.
  4. With the liquidiser still running, dribble in the oil until it has all been incorporated.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

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