Our favorite coulis recipe. This red pepper coulis (red pepper sauce) goes well with any dish. From your favorite stews, rice, or potato recipes, this sauce goes well with everything.
Bright and rich red pepper coulis (red pepper sauce) to enhance any dish. Everyone understands the importance of sauce in many foods.
A lot of food will remain inedible or at most, unpalatable, without sauce.
Now, there are many types of sauces used in the culinary world, and each of the sauces has its attendant peculiarities.
One of the most popular and widely used sauces is the red pepper coulis. While it is made as a coulis, its most popular use is as a sauce.
In this article, we will touch on the concept of coulis, how it is made, its uses, and the peculiarity of the red pepper coulis.
What Is Red Pepper Coulis?
Coulis refers to a puree of fruits and vegetables. However, when you use fruits, you may have to use sugars to sweeten the puree.
Coulis could also be made from fruit jam and preserved that have been diluted and strained with liquor, water, or syrup.
You can also use additional ingredients such as spices and seasoning to add more flavor, and acid such as lemon juice.
However, these additional ingredients are kept simple and at the barest minimum, to prevent messing the dish up with numerous flavors and ingredients.
Using this definition, the red pepper coulis is made from red peppers. To get the best coulis, roasted red pepper is usually used.
The roasted red pepper is made by applying heat to the surface of the pepper, usually over a grill or in an oven.
Once the red pepper turns black, you can then peel the skin if desired, and what you have is a pepper with concentrated flavors including sweet, bitter, and depending on the pepper you are using, it may be a little spicy.
You can also add spices such as garlic, aromatic seasonings, shallots, nutty pecorino, sweet basil, or parmesan cheese, this is perfect for when using the sauce as a topping for pizza.
The red pepper coulis is not only easy to make, but it is also equally easy to store and uses ingredients easily found in your pantry.
Finally, this coulis is versatile. You can switch from using it on desserts and snacks to using it on full course meals.
History of Red Pepper Coulis
Coulis has not always been used to refer to purees. Instead, the word has evolved to mean different things at different points in time.
The word originated from France, and the French vocabulary was couler, which means “to strain” or “to flow”.
Its adjective form, coleis, means straining, pouring, or flowing. The word also has a similar Latin root to the word “Colander”.
Originally, coulis was used to refer to the juices from cooked meat. Then after some time, it evolved to being used to refer to thick sauce or soup make from pureed fish, meat, or game.
But with time, these types of soup fell out of fashion, and as a result, the term coulis was then used to refer to shellfish soups that have been pureed.
In the New World, the word was modified to cullis and is used to refer to strained gravy and broth.
Of all of these meanings and interpretations, only the “thick liquid” meaning has survived till today.
Today, there are still debates in the culinary world as to the right usage of the term coulis and what it should refer to.
While coulis could be made from vegetables (cooked) and fruits (uncooked), many people are still of the opinion that fruit coulis are simply fruit puree, and the use of the word “coulis” to describe them is an attempt at being fancy.
Of course, it does add a fancy feel to a menu decoration to see “Mango Coulis” rather than Mango puree or mango sauce.
Others also argue that a cooked coulis cannot be referred to as a coulis. At the end of the day, what matters most is the taste, intention of the chef, color, and consistency of the coulis.
In the same way that the meaning of coulis has morphed over the years, the usage of the dish has also changed over the years.
Coulis has been used as plate decoration, and also as a form of complementary flavor for both meat and vegetable dishes.
They are also used to garnish a soup, sauce a dish, and also used as a soup base. Coulis made from fruits, especially berries, are ideal for dessert toppings.
These sauces are usually strained using chinois strainers and as a result, are usually very smooth.
It was the domination of Nouvelle Cuisine in the 1980s that allowed the use of coulis in the culinary world reaches a staggering peak.
By this time, chefs excessively used the coulis, especially the raspberry coulis, in different designs such as in squiggles, little puddles, and many other designs that were prevalent at the time.
While the use of coulis in different designs is still high today, there is a bit of restraint as opposed to the way it was used before.
Key & Optional Ingredients Used To Make This Coulis
Red Bell Pepper
You can use either fresh red bell pepper or roasted ones, depending on the flavor that works best for you.
This is one of the leading spices that you need for the red pepper coulis. By adding just three cloves of garlic, you can get the perfect pungent flavor in the coulis.
If you are a sucker for slightly sweet onion flavor, your best bet remains shallots.
There is no single seasoning that is perfect for the red pepper coulis. However, you can try out Italian seasonings, paprika, kosher salts, red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper.
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
The fresh squeezed lemon juice will help the flavors to pop and add a little acidity to the sauce.
You can change or alter certain ingredients from the aforementioned ones, to get a better or different flavor. For instance;
- Shallots: you can substitute shallots for big yellow or sweet onion if you are looking to get a stronger onion flavor in your coulis.
- Cheese: You can add cheese like pecorino cheese or parmesan cheese. This is perfect if you are using the sauce as a topping for pizza or pizza bread.
- Italian seasoning: the Italian seasoning can go for a more natural combination of thyme, dried basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, and rosemary. You don’t have to use all of them. Settle on the ones that you can get and give your red pepper coulis the best natural flavor.
How To Roast The Bell Peppers and Garlic
Place the ingredients in a tray. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Transfer the tray to the oven and broil on high for a couple minutes at a time (checking to see if the ingredients aren’t burning).
Turn the ingredients on the other side and repeat the process. Once the ingredients are dark in color, it is ready to proceed with preparing the coulis.
How To Use Red Pepper Coulis
You can use your coulis on pasta or as part of your ingredients to prepare your favorite spaghetti.
It’s also great with boiled eggs and sauteed vegetables.
It also can be used to prepare this Haitian Red Beans and rice.
More Sauces To Enjoy
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Red Bell Pepper Coulis
- 2 Red Bell Peppers seeds and core removed
- Juice From ½ Lemon
- 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil Divided
- 2 Shallots Cut in half
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 1 ½ Cup Vegetable Stock
- 4 Fresh Basil Leaves
- 3-5 Fresh Parsley Sprigs
- Salt And Pepper To Taste
- Seed and core the bell peppers. Set aside in a baking tray. Cut the shallots in halves. Then add to the tray. Next, add the shallots. Drizzle the ingredients with 2 tablespoon olive oil. Lightly season with salt if desired. Broil on high for a few minutes – about 2 minutes but no more than 3 minutes to avoid burning the ingredients. Then turn the ingredients over and broil for a couple more minutes.
- In a medium sizse saucepan, add the oil. When heated, add the shallots, roasted red bell peppers, and garlic (including the juice from broiling or roasting). Add the vegetable broth. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cover to simmer over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. The Peppers must be very soft before blending. The liquid will also reduce some. Using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients until smooth. Or you may transfer the ingredients to a countertop blender. Pour the blended mixture into a sieve and strain in a bottle or separate bowl. Add more seasoning if needed. Store in the fridge in a air tight container and use as needed.