The Pepper Chef!

March 7, 2005

paper-chef-4.jpg

INT. CARYN’S APARTMENT–KITCHEN–LATE AFTERNOON

The sink is overflowing with dirty dishes and bowls. Bright orange spots are spattered around the stove. The trash can is long overdue for a changing.

Caryn stands over a colorful bowl on the table, digital camera poised at her eye. There is a quick knock at the door, but it opens nearly at the same time and Matt waltzes in.

MATT

Smells like peppers in here!

CARYN

Roasted red peppers.

Matt leans over the table to look at the bowl.

MATT

What’s that?

CARYN

Dip. Didn’t know you were coming over.

Matt picks a pita chip off the counter and starts to munch on it.

MATT

Wasting some time before my date.

Caryn repositions the food and snaps another picture.

CARYN

It’d kill you to show up on time?

Matt grabs another chip.

MATT

Who’s this for?

CARYN

No one. Just an experiment.

MATT

Perfect. Then I’m your guinea pig.

He grabs the chip that sticks out of the bowl and scoops a generous portion of the silky dip before popping it in his mouth.

CARYN

Good thing I’m done taking pictures.

MATT

Wow. Smoky.

He walks over to the fridge and grabs a half-full bottle of pomegranate juice.

MATT (CONT’D)

And hot!

CARYN

I know. I might have added more jalapenos than it called for.

MATT

I think it chapped my lips.

This flavorful dip was designed as an entry for the Paper Chef #4 using the following ingredients: eggplant, stale bread, chocolate and pomegranate. The use of three different kinds of peppers somehow brought those flavors together.

Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip

Chipotle Mole Garnish

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

1 cup boiling water

2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

2 Tablespoons blanched almonds

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

1/2 of a 7-oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/2 cup of pomegranate juice

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1. Rehydrate tomatoes in boiling water. Drain and reserve liquid.

2. Toast pepitas, almonds and sesame seeds in a dry skillet until lightly browned. Cool.

3. Grind seeds and almonds in food processor until fine. Add tomatoes, chipotles and pomegranate juice. Puree until smooth.

4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until soft. Add the pureed mixture and saute until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).

5. Melt the chocolate into the mixture. Thin sauce with reserved tomato liquid until desired consistency (I used 1/2 cup). Simmer for a minute to blend flavors.

Makes about two cups. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To use as a sauce for meats or vegetables, use only one or two of the chipotles and thin the finished sauce with chicken broth. Vary the chocolate to taste.

Pita Chips

5 loaves of stale pita

olive oil

cumin

paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Brush the pita with olive oil and cut into halves and then thirds to form wedges.

3. Dust with cumin and paprika.

4. Bake on a cookie sheet until golden and crispy (about 20 minutes).

5 thoughts on “The Pepper Chef!

  1. Amy

    Caryn, nice recipe, I’ve been on a bit of a chipotle in adobo kick myself and pomegranates, well, don’t get me started!

    I get such a kick out of your blog though I have to admit, I keep wondering when the movie is coming out ;)

    Reply
  2. caryn

    Amy, I haven’t cooked much with chipotles before and I was pleasantly surprised by how much flavor they pack. I’m tickled that you visit my blog. No plans for the movie yet. :)

    Okay, Sasha, I’ll confess that I’m not a fan of red peppers, so I didn’t think I would love it. However, those chipotles really bring out an interesting side of the roasted red peppers. I like a garnish that adds dimension, so I’m happy with the results.

    Reply
  3. sam

    what a glorious photograph. This entry was superb, despite the fact I couldn’t find the eggplant. This is one I think I might try one day.

    Just to let you know, the results have just been posted .

    Reply

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