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08/28/2010

~ Pink Peppercorn Sauce ~

TGIF Salmon #1 This simple, silky-textured, slightly spicy sauce is sinfully delicious accompanied by broiled or baked fish, steamed shellfish, poached chicken, vegetables and all sorts of rice, orzo and even couscous.  It is pictured here with my recipe for ~ T.G.I.F. Salmon w/Pink Peppercorn Sauce ~, which can be found in Cataegories 3, 11, & 19!  

The sauce can be made ahead of time, up to 2 days prior to serving it.  It reheats in the microwave or gently on the stovetop, and if it happens to get too thick, just stir in a bit more cream!

Pink Peppercorn Sauce #1 (Ingredients)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2  ounces unsalted butter 

4  ounces yellow or sweet onion, finely diced

          1  cup sweet white wine

4  tablespoons dark rum

4  teaspoons pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed with the side of a chef's knife

2  tablespoons tomato paste

1  cup heavy or whipping cream

1/4  teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste

freshly ground sea salt, to taste   

Pink Peppercorn Sauce #3 (Sauteed Onions)

~ Step 1.  Finely dice the onions as directed. 

In pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add the onions.  Increase heat to saute, until they are just soft and transluscent, 3-4 minutes.  Pink Peppercorn Sauce #4 (Wine & Rum Reduction)

 

 

 

 

~ Step 2.  Add the white wine and the rum.  Adjust the heat to simmer rapidly until the mixture is reduced by about half.  This will take about 5-6 minutes.  Pink Peppercorn Sauce #5 (Cream Simmering)

 

 

 

 

 

~ Step 3.   Using the flat side of a chef's knife, coarsely crush the pink peppercorns as directed. 

Stir in the peppercorns, tomato paste, cream and red pepper flakes.  Adjust heat to simmer very rapidly, just short of a full boil, until the sauce is nicely thickened, about 5-6 additional minutes.  Pink Peppercorn Sauce #6 (Finished Sauce)

 

 

 ~ Step 4.  The sauce should be nicely thickened, thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or as you can see in this picture:  the side of the pan.  Sauce will also be a pretty pink color.  If you want a thicker sauce, simmer it a little longer.  If you want it thinner, just add a bit more cream.

Remove from heat and salt to taste, preferably using freshly ground sea salt.

 

Tidbits regarding pink peppercorns:  I like to refer to them as "little peppery jewels."  They are  actually not a peppercorn or related to a peppercorn.  Originating in Peru, they are a dried, very fragile-skinned berry that Amazon rainforest natives use to make homemade Pink Peppercorn Beer!  Because their skin is so fragile, they are easily crushed with the flat side of a chef's knife, to release their delicate, fruity, peppery flavor.  Besides being used in Pink Peppercorn Sauce, once crushed, they are delicious sprinkled "as is" into any tossed salad or used to garnish a cheese tray.  If you've never tried them, pop one into your mouth for a most enjoyable nibble!

Pink Peppercorn Sauce:  Recipe yields 1 1/2-2 cups sauce.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 3-quart stirfy-type pan

Cook's Note:  Sauce can be prepared 1-2 days in advance of serving and refrigerated.  Reheat sauce or leftover sauce in microwave or gently on stovetop.  If sauce gets too thick, add a bit more cream.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010) 

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