During my restaurant days I loved blending foods together, creating dinners that made my customers moan! From the early days of TV Food Stars, my fondest memories will always be of Graham Kerr bringing people down from the audience to taste his latest creation. The faces they made were of pure ecstasy, and sometimes a moan of carnal pleasure would escape their lips….the audience would oooohhh and ahhhhh. Needless to say this made a lasting impression on me, my goal with any meal I prepared would be to get the same response.
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One of my personal favorites was always my Roasted Pepper Sauce, I had dubbed it a Paduan Pepper Sauce, it was of course in my mind Italian, I had a map of Italy, and I loved how it sounded and enjoyed saying it……Paduan Pepper Sauce….sigh…..it just flowed off the lips, it sounded just a bit seductive, and spoke of something wonderful yet to come……….well, that’s how I meant it anyway. So lets get back to the sauce, I started by simply pureeing canned Roasted Peppers, and it is important to find a good brand (Mancini had been my pepper of choice in my restaurant days) a roasted pepper should be flavorful and not too bitter.
I had never tasted a Roasted Pepper Sauce before I started, I had no idea what it should taste like or what should even go into it, just that it sounded like a good idea to me. It has been a standard on menu’s where ever I went, we even do it at school. It’s a very versatile sauce, but my favorite way to eat it will always be just over pasta. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Paduan Pepper Sauce
1 Can Roasted Red Peppers ( approx. 28 oz)
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Grated Romano Cheese
4-6 oz Liquid from reconstituting Sun Dried Tomatoes(Tomatoes should soak at least one hour)
3-4 oz juice form Jar of Peperoncini (Tuscan Peppers)
2 oz Brandy
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Puree the roasted red peppers until they are as smooth as possible.
Add peppers into a medium sauce pan, add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well.
Heat sauce over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring frequently, so it will not stick to the pan.
Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to continue to simmer for an hour. Reduce your sauce by about 20 % or until it returns to near the original consistency of the peppers before you added any liquid.
This will be the base for your sauce. If you have the time this sauce should be made at least one day ahead to give it time for the flavors to build. You can make the pepper sauce 3 or 4 days ahead of time. This sauce also freezes well, but allow it to age 2 or 3 days before freezing.
I love this sauce for pasta dishes, and since I had you use the liquid from reconstituting sun dried tomatoes were going to add some into the finished sauce. I also add in the peperoncini for a little spice in the sauce, but feel free to leave them out. In my restaurant days Chicken and Shrimp made an appearance in many different dishes, everyone loves shrimp and chicken was always less expensive, so it helped build the dish up. I always wanted my customers leaving full, very full! Here was one of my favorite dishes using the Roasted Pepper sauce we just made. Now here’s the new twist I made to the finished dish, where I was always heavy cream crazy, I have now started using Greek Yogurt as a partial replacement. While I did use the heavy cream in the sauce base, when I finished my dish I used Greek Yogurt instead. You know what it added more flavor and you couldn’t tell any difference at all. Who knew? So here is the recipe for one of my favorite dishes….If you just want to eat it over pasta which is my favorite way, just leave out the chicken and the shrimp.
Paduan Chicken and Shrimp (for two)
6 16-20 count shrimp
6 oz Boneless Chicken Breast cut in to strips
8 oz mushrooms sliced
2 ounces sun dried tomato strips reconstituted
4 artichoke (in brine, not marinated in oil) hearts sliced (optional)
2 cups Roasted Pepper Sauce
2 ounces Grated Romano Cheese
4 oz Greek Yogurt
Pinch of Black Pepper
6 ounces pasta of your choice
Splash of white wine
Cook your pasta per box instructions start when you begin to sauté your chicken, it should be done about the same time your finishing the chicken and shrimp paduan.
In a large sauté pan add some olive oil and start with your chicken strips, first dredge your chicken in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then place floured strips into your hot sauté pan. Cook Chicken for about 3 minutes then turn it over. After you have turned over your chicken add in your mushrooms, shrimp, and peperoncini. Sauté until the shrimp are almost done (you may have to add a little more oil to the pan when you put in the shrimp). Add your splash of white wine to de-glaze the pan and add in your remaining ingredients, blend the yogurt in well. Heat the entire dish very well and serve over your pasta. I like to toss a little of the pepper sauce in the pasta first just to give it a very light coating.
First I would like to say thank you to all my wonderful friends for their support with this give away, I got so many great idea’s I actually asked if I could get more give aways from Girard’s, unfortunately I could not.
So without further ado, here are the winners based on the idea’s they submitted. All I need from each of you is an address to have Girard’s Ship the Dressings to. Also I would like to challenge each of you to think out of the box, and come up with another recipe as well, surprise us with your creativity! I want the folks at Girard’s to be blown away when you all post your recipes! Thanks again to everyone that entered in the give away and to all my friends for their support!
Kristen @ Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Christiane @The Mom Chef
Brian @ A Thought For Food
Kat @ The Wine-y Tomato
Louanne @ Louanne’s Kitchen
Congratulations to the winners and we all look forward to your seeing your creations!