There was a sweet red pepper in the fridge that was starting to get a bit soft, still OK for roasting or cooking, but not enough crunch left in it for eating fresh. I had made a mental note to roast it, and use it right away.
We chose to have fish for dinner, and keeping the red pepper in mind, I bought some shrimp to combine with it in a sauce for the sole. I used a bit of the whipping cream in the fridge, added in some grape tomatoes and fresh basil and made some zucchini and potato pancakes to serve with the fish.
Roast the red pepper by placing it directly on an open flame, turning it as each side chars.
You can also roast it in the oven, on a baking sheet, at a temperature of 400F. Roast it until it is starting to char, and the skin is wrinkled.
Remove the pepper from the heat, and place into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it to cool.
When the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin, rinse it off and remove the seeds from inside.
Roughly chop the pepper and place it into a blender, along with:
1/2 cup whipping cream
Blend until you have a reasonably smooth puree. Set aside until needed.
Turn the oven on to heat to 350F. Have an ovenproof dish ready for the fish.
Lay the sole fillets onto a cutting board or baking sheet and lightly season both sides.
6 sole fillets
Starting at the thin end, roll each piece of sole up and place into the ovenproof dish.
Scatter halved grape tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese around the fish.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds over everything.
Place into the oven to bake.
Bake until the fish is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. If the fish is cooked before the tomatoes, remove the fish and keep it warm.
To make the sauce, place the pureed red pepper and whipping cream into a small saucepan, along with:
1/2 cup whipping cream
Simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Two minutes before serving, stir in:
150g of cooked shrimp
Serve the fish, tomatoes and feta cheese with the shrimp and red pepper sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with chopped fresh basil.
- Sole fillets are thin and cook really quickly, which is why I rolled them up. If you use a thicker piece of fish, such as halibut, this is not necessary.
- Purchased roasted red peppers can also be used; you will need to estimate one pepper's worth if the peppers you buy are not whole.
- When pureeing the red pepper and whipping cream be very careful not to churn the cream into butter. Try and puree the pepper a bit first and then add the cream to prevent this from happening.
- The sauce can be made ahead, up to one day...just re-heat it and then add the shrimp to heat them through for serving. The shrimp are optional.
- If you have a licorice flavoured liqueur such as Pernod, add a tablespoon to the sauce.
- Make a larger batch of the sauce, adding in shrimp and bay scallops, and use it as a pasta sauce.
- The sauce can be used for beef (surf and turf) or the shrimp can be eliminated and it can be used for beef, chicken or pork.
- Instead of feta cheese use soft goat cheese, Parmesan or Asiago. The cheese can also be omitted if you prefer.