By David Harbilas
The more names a thing has on a menu the more intimidating it is, right?
Well, there are a few different ingredients that may sound totally out of place in this recipe, but it isn’t a hard sauce to make at all.
Espelette is a chile pepper traditionally associated with the southern Basque region of France.
Its flavor is a cross between paprika, in that it’s smoky, and red pepper flake, in that it also has a bit of spice. The orange combats or mellows the heat with the sweetness, while the roasted tomato rounds it out with a meaty quality.
The butter cuts through the heat and gives the sauce a velvety texture. It goes well with fish, chicken, pork, or veal.
Makes about 3 cups of sauce
- 3 red globe tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon of espelette pepper
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 stick butter, optional
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
Preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Toss the tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and cover with foil and roast for 4-6 hours, or until shriveled and slightly reduced in size. Meanwhile, place the orange juice in a saucepan and reduce by half. Place the tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the tomato sauce into the orange reduction and add the espelette. Place the sauce over heat and reduce until thick, about 30 minutes. Slowly whisk in the butter, if using.