You know it is going to be a good cooking day when the stove is full of pots.
Today’s adventure was a velouté sauce. A velouté is a broth based sauce thickened with a roux. I decided to go for a sweet pepper variation as I had two beautiful peppers sitting in the fridge. Bob doesn’t like peppers and the closest I get to getting him to eat them is the stuffed peppers; even then he only really eats the yellow ones, so my poor red peppers are hard to use.
Both sauce books gave me a sweet pepper purée recipe. After reading both, I went with a combination approach. Pretty much take the easiest parts of each and go from there. I chopped both peppers and cooked them with a tiny bit of olive oil over med/low heat for about a half hour. Once they were soft, I transferred them to a food processor and blended them with a tiny bit of veggie stock, just to help it thin. I took the mash
and strained it until it was smooth and I could not get any more liquid out. I did the yellow pepper and the red pepper separate to keep the colors intact.
The base of the sauce, the velouté needed a roux – 1 pat of butter and about an eighth of a cup of flour. Cook until you get a nutty smell, maybe two or three minutes. Add about two and a half cups of veggie stock whisk well until the roux is no longer visible, the cook over low heat for about an hour stirring frequently to keep the skin from forming.
The chicken was pretty basic cook down a chopped leek and one plum tomato with a little ground mustard and pepper. Salt and pepper two chicken breasts, and put them in a frying pan to brown on the top. Cut the breasts to make a pocket and stuff the leek/tomato mixture into them.
Into a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes and the chicken is done.
Back to the sauce. I said it was awesome, I didn’t say it was fast, easy or clean to make. ( Bob looked in the sink when he got home and only uttered “oh my.” And I had already cleaned one round!) I divided the velouté into two pans and added six teaspoons of one purée to each – one yellow and one red. Bring the heat up just to an almost boil, the turn off the heat. Mix well, then serve over the chicken. I layered the yellow sauce first, then drizzled the red sauce over it.
The verdict from the man who does not like sweet peppers? He loved it. And I know he wasn’t just saying that, he actually went back and ADDED sauce to his plate! And he left nothing for Jessie or Gracie.
So the next time I do this I need to add some sort of soft cheese to the stuffing mix – maybe a goat cheese or sheep cheese. But otherwise, a very successful dish. And I have the leftover purées and sauce base and stock in the muffin tin in the freezer to make the process quicker next time.