October 23rd, 2009

Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Smoky Red Pepper Sauce
(x-posted to vegrecipes)

4 red bell peppers
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 shallots or one medium onion
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut red, orange or yellow bell peppers in half, cut or pull out seeds, put cut-side down on foil-line pan and roast until skin is charred and bubbling.

While peppers are roasting, slice shallots or onions and sauté on low to medium heat in olive oil until soft and carmelized. Put into blender or food processor.

After removing peppers from oven and given them a chance to cool down, remove skins. Add pepper flesh to processor bowl.

Add vinegar, paprika and a pinch of salt to onions and peppers and puree. Taste and adjust seasoning.

This rich, sweet and smoky sauce is good over baked potatoes or roasted root vegetables or pasta, mixed with "mayo" to make a sandwich dressing, whisked into oil and vinegar for extra flavor and color, added to white bean puree to make a dip or sandwich spread, mixed into store-bought tomato sauce, or served over scrambled tofu. Try changing it up a bit by adding a little hot sauce, lemon juice or fresh herbs.

Authentic Indian Cookbook? (Preferably south Indian)

Hi guys!  I went to a lovely south Indian restaurant tonight.  If I could I'd seriously eat Indian every day.  However, I don't really know how to make anything besides chana masala.  I would really like to learn how to cook authentic south Indian food at home (well, the vegan dishes, of course). 

Do any of you own a good authentic south Indian cookbook that you'd recommend?  Most of the ingredients will probably be new to me so a cookbook that explains what things are would be helpful, and I'd really like it if it had some bits about culture too (for instance tonight at the restaurant the owner told me this one relish was to stimulate appetite.  just little facts like that).  So I'm interested both in making the food and learning food traditions.

I do have access to several Indian grocery stores so hopefully won't have trouble finding ingredients.  If you have any book recommendations, please let me know!  I didn't see anything under the Indian tag or the cookbooks tag.  I did see this book mentioned, but it seems to be a bit more americanized than I'd like--at least based on the reviews.  

Thanks guys!