Tag Archives: red bell peppers

Fast, Cheap, Vegan Red Sauce

I bought this really great loaf of bread of a few days ago when I was in Holland at Pereddies. The rosemary salt loaf has been a guilty pleasure of mine for many years. The inside is just barely cooked through so it’s still a little gooey,  and the outside is crunchy and salty, like a pretzel almost. It’s a perfect food. However, one can’t, no wait, shouldn’t eat just a loaf of bread for dinner, right? It is probably frowned upon. As I am a total slacker in the grocery shopping category right now, I had limited foods in the fridge; however, out of necessity/laziness, a red sauce was born…a little of this…a little of that and you have a pretty tasty red sauce for pasta or just bread dipping…I won’t judge you.

Ingredients:

  • 5 red bell peppers, cut into slices
  • 2 cans, 14.5 oz roasted tomatoes or regular tomatoes
  • 1 jar crack tomatoes from freezer (optional)
  • 1 can, 15 oz tomato sauce (no sugar added please)
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T garlic, minced
  • 1 T Italian seasoning, or fresh herbs
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 medium sized shallots, diced

In a pan with a significant edge (think saute, sauce, or dutch oven), saute the sliced red bell peppers and the shallots until roasted over medium high, nearly caramelized. Add all other ingredients and bring to low boil. Cover, turn heat down to simmer and forget about this dish for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place 1/2 to 3/4 of sauce mix into blender and process until smooth. Return blended sauce to pan, stir to combine. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, gnocchi, etc. Freeze remaining for up to 6 months.

Pepper Jelly

I’ve been asked for this recipe at least a dozen times in the last few days.  Here is a re-post of Pepper Jelly.

Turns out, I can grow jalapenos.  Lots of them in fact.  I picked most of them today, grabbed a few red bell peppers from the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market, gloved up, and started chopping.  I make a few batches of this so that I can gorge myself in the summer, and then later I get serious about storing 6-8 jars for holiday gift giving, and/or unexpected guests fa-la-la-la-la-ling up at my house and me with nothing to serve.  This makes a great show off appetizer in the dead of winter with a cream cheese base, served over a cracker.  Summer on a wheat thin.  Plus, you look all Betty Crocker-like for having something preserved (ohhhhh, ahhhhh) on hand.  It’s a win-win.  I modified this recipe from my friend Lins Ray’s recipe.

Pepper Jelly

  • 3 large red bell peppers (you can use green, yellow, whatever you want here-I prefer red)
  • 14-18 medium jalapenos
  • 1 SMALL thai chili pepper (only if you like it HOT)
  • 1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 c cider vinegar (could also use white in a pinch)
  • 6 c sugar (no substitutes)
  • 6 oz liquid fruit pectin (do not use powdered)

Chop all peppers into a really, really small dice removing seeds and most of the white vein inside the peppers.  Wear two sets of latex gloves for this task, you will thank me later.  Combine the lemon juice, peppers, vinegar and sugar in a large pot and boil for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, keep an eye on this as it will start to boil, then boil over like spaghetti does without any warning, then you are dunzo.  Add liquid pectin, boil 3-5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Spoon into jars or plastic containers, do not fill to top.  When this freezes like all other liquids it expands.  Full to the brim means a crack and loss of your precious jelly.  Store in freezer for up to 6 months, if it lasts that long.   DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MULTIPLY OR DIVIDE THE RECIPE.  For whatever reason, when you make jam, doubling or dividing the recipe results in utter failure.  Period.

To serve, pour thawed jelly over a log of cream cheese for a treat on crackers.  I have also, in a bind poured this over tofu “meatballs” in a crockpot and served as an appetizer.  The possibilities are endless.  Taste it and you will come up with some of your own.  Then come back here and post them for the rest of the Interwebs.