Bell Pepper Marmelade

This sweet-sour condiment functions nicely as a counterpoint to rich, flat platforms like deeply browned seared steaks or richer varieties of fish.  When we use it for steaks, especially, we rest the meat on a bed of the pepper marmalade, so it collects and absorbs the meat’s juice, adding another layer of flavor.  Inverted on the plate, the result is a virtually self-saucing dish!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ea. Spanish onion, diced fine
  • 3 T honey
  • 3 T corn syrup
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 T sherry vinaigre
  • 1 clove garlic, microplaned
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 5 ea. red bell peppers, peeled, deseeded and chopped fine
  • 4 T soy oil
  • 1/2 t microplaned lemon zest


Method

Quarter the bell peppers and remove the stems, seeds and white ribs.

Blanch the quartered peppers in 350° until the skin bubbles and loosens (15-30 seconds).  If you don’t have a pot of 350° oil constantly at the ready, as we typically do at the restaurant, you may alternatively roast the peppers on a grill or over the open flame of a gas burner.  The skins will char, loosen and peel easily away, and the resulting condiment will be as (perhaps more) delicious, though the char from the peppers will seriously muddy the end result.

Peel the blanched peppers while still warm, draining thoroughly on paper towels before proceeding to chop.

In a small, non-reactive saucepot combine:  diced onion, salt, garlic, thyme, lemon zest and soy oil.  Sweat these ingredients over medium-low heat until very soft and fragrant.

Add honey, corn syrup, vinaigre and bell peppers, stir to combine and cook 5-10 more minutes to marry the flavors.

The marmalade works just as well warm or cold, and will keep about 7 days under refrigeration.