Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

RECIPE: Red Pepper Mayo


Lunch, originally uploaded by ktglick.

It was HOT on Sunday. The kind of hot where you wake up and you're already sweaty. The kind of hot where you meant to get up early so you could do your exercise before the heat wave hit, but when you get up early, it's already approximately the heat of the center of the sun. The kind of hot where every so often you need to go stick your head in the freezer and when you do, it's like you're waking up from a terrible dream.

And you know, as you stand there with your head in the freezer, that you are then in your true home: a land where everything is cool and refreshing and frosty, and there is ice cream and vodka everywhere. And you know also, that in this land of frost and ice cream and vodka, you are a tall and slender ice princess, and not really a small, round and sweaty attorney.

When it is this hot, what do you make for lunch? What do you eat on a day when your entire body is calling for you NOT to eat, but rather to just lay down and dissolve into a pool of liquid? What do you eat when all you really feel like is ice water?

Well, a salad is always part of a meal on such a day. It has to be, and you have it covered, because you wisely purchased a bag of "stellar mix" greens from Maggie's Farm at the farmer's market, because it was so green and herbal smelling and pretty and filled with colorful flower petals. But salad is not enough, because although you don't know it yet, your former neighbor is about to stop by and take you shopping at the Grove and on Melrose and so you will need lots of energy. (This is the good kind of shopping, though, where you aren't trying to buy anything, and you just hang out and chat and look cute while someone ELSE tries to buy things).

Easy. On this kind of day, you have to eat mankind's greatest invention: the sandwich. The sandwich is perfect because it is easy to make and you get to put your head in the refrigerator several times, and it involves NO stoves or ovens. And because you were so smart and made some extra-special red pepper mayonnaise to put on sandwiches and bought bread and meat and cheese and other things to put on sandwiches at the store ALREADY, so you have everything you need! So that's what you need to make on a day like that: Maggie's Farm "stellar mix" salad; a chicken breast sandwich on rustic panini bread with red pepper mayo, mozzarella, watercress and basil; and a glass of homemade ginger-lemonade, made by your husband, aka, the bartender. AAAHHH.

RECIPE: RED PEPPER MAYO

Mince 1 large garlic clove and mash to paste with 1/2 tsp salt using a heavy knife. Transfer to a blender with 1 lb. red bell peppers, tender roasted (see below). Puree until smooth. Add 1/4 cup mayo and 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice and blend.

TO TENDER ROAST BELL PEPPERS:

1. Pre-heat broiler.

2. Halve bell peppers lengthwise, then discard stems and seeds. Put peppers, cut sides down, in one layer in an oiled, shallow baking pan. Broil 2 inches from heat until charred and softened (15-18 minutes).

3. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and let steam 15 minutes. Peel.


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