When I was growing up, my mother kept a tiny jar of pimentos in the fridge. She would carefully sprinkle a few on potato salad, or, maybe a jello salad. One minuscule jar would last months.
Like the the little bottle of olive oil in the cupboard, I had no idea this was a food to be used for other than garnish.
For the record, she used the olive oil (Pompeii) to treat earaches and polish Easter Eggs.
I buy these pimientos by the case when I’m in Andorra.
I buy olive oil in 3 litre cans – four of five at a time.
And we eat it all….
I stuff the whole pepper…. and slice them and dice them and put them in almost anything.
And I puree them, making a sauce – that I also put on almost anything.
Sometimes, I had garlic or shallots or herbs or chicken stock or tomato sauce.
Sometimes, I don’t.
Sometimes, I add chili powder or paprika or hot sauce.
This is definitely one of the most useful, and flexible, pantry items I have.
Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Pimiento Sauce
It would be a perfectly lovely risotto without it. Or you could just stir the Pimiento Sauce into the risotto, but I liked the idea of drizzling it over the top for an occasional ‘bite’ of flavor. And it’s prettier!
2/3 cups Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 onion other half for the condimenti
1 tbs butter
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Finely chop onion. In medium sauce pan heat butter; add the onion and sauté until transparent then add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir.
Start condimenti. When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/2 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup and continue adding 1/2 cup at a time and stirring. Before adding the last 1/4 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth, but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.
Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter. Drizzle with Pimiento Sauce and serve.
1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1/2 cup olives, any color
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs olive oil
Chop onion. Clean and slice mushrooms. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Cut olives in half. Heat oil in small skillet. Add onion, mushrooms and sauté until tender. When vegetables are tender and add chicken and herbs. Sauté until chicken is cooked through. Stir in olives, cover, turn heat to low and keep warm until needed.
6oz (175gr) pimiento (pimento) or roasted red peppers
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
Sauté shallot in olive oil in a small saucepan until tender. Drain and roughly chop pimiento. Add remaining ingredients to shallots, cover and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Put in a blender and purée until smooth.
It’s almost time to go to Andorra, shopping, again…..
Too bad they don’t have Jolly Ranchers.