Last night I had the pleasure of feasting royally at local restaurant Bistro La Bon. I hadn’t yet visited this gem in Plaza Midwood, but the pan seared Halloumi with figs and port is reason enough to camp out on the reg, as they say (I have no idea who says that outside of my 10th grade self). We reminisced about placing calls to radio stations to request songs – mine was always “Peaches,” by The Presidents of the United States of America, because I liked to think in my 7th grade awkwardness that I was a total BA, and choosing that song somehow proved it. We were regaled throughout the evening by the owner of the restaurant, who likened me to having the beauty of a movie star who never made it to Hollywood, which I believe is sort of a compliment. Additionally he taught us wise proverbs like, “It takes two to tango, and one to mango,” and “I don’t have to be drunk to have the happy,” and, sagely, “It’s all about the balls.”
The reason for our dinner, however, was far and away better than all of that. A celebration for the launch of PlateShare. Plate Share is an app (currently available for Droid, but also coming soon to iPhones) that encourages micro-giving to end hunger. By simply rounding your restaurant bill to the nearest dollar, the change will be given to partner organizations who are working to end hunger in our country. The idea, in my mind, is genius, and I’m excited to see our generation rally around a socially and mobile savvy platform to better our communities through small change.
Prior to last night’s dinner, however, the word on my mind has been “Sauce.” No pun intended (just kidding, I always have a pun intended), I’d devoured Kathleen Flinn’s memoir “The Sharper The Knife The Less You Cry,” tales from her days at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I was inspired to try my hand outside of the crockpot to make a sauce we’d both love.
I’ve been all about poblano peppers and fennel of late, as well, so after getting affirmation from Davey the Hubbers that those flavors would indeed pair nicely, I set to work. The canvas for the sauce this time was salmon grilled in parchment paper with mushrooms and leeks, though the leftover sauce is screaming to be a marinate for a pork loin and grilled to a crusty, savory perfection. One note that I never quite seem to think of beforehand: doubling heat elements, like the poblano pepper, will yield results more than double that amount. Our sauce was nearly screaming with heat. Something we don’t really mind, but the recipe below has it scaled back.
Roasted Pepper Fennel Sauce
3 bell peppers (I used red, white and purple just because I was entranced with their colors)
1 poblano pepper
1 fennel bulb
White balsamic vinegar
Roughly chop all bell peppers, poblano and fennel, removing seeds from peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, and roast at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are getting soft and fennel is starting to brown. Remove from oven, let cool 5-10 minutes. Place peppers and fennel in blender. Add a generous splash of white balsamic vinegar (maybe an 1/8 of a cup). Begin blending. Add olive or neutral oil to blender while it purees the sauce until it’s the desired consistency (ours was fairly thick, but if you add more oil, this could easily become a nice salad dressing).