Ever eaten at a restaurant something simple like salmon, mushrooms or a chicken breast bathed in a creamy sauce and it seemed to be heaven on a fork?

The more I cook, the more I’m convinced the secret is in the sauce. If you can create a sauce that has flavor that does not overpower whatever it is on, but adds flavor as a background or accent, you’ve got something you can use in many recipes.

Red pepper aioli is one of those sauces. I found a similar recipe to this in a Williams and Sonoma cook book. For this I simplified their recipe by using roasted red pepper packed in water. It saves you time, and makes the sauce go together in minutes.

You can also control the zing this sauce has by adding or subtracting the amount of cayenne pepper. What I’ve listed here, the heat is hardly discernible.

I recommend you start to use this with a baked potato. Then after you know what it can do, try it with some other vegetables or dishes that you think it may be able to turn from ordinary to extraordinary.

I’ve also used soft tofu to reduce the calories and eliminated the mayo. After you make it with mayo, try the tofu option.

Wash and pierce two potatoes. Oil them with olive oil and back for about 1 hour at 425 degrees. Then cut them in half, scoop out the potato meat, leaving about 1/4 inch in the shell to keep it firm. Mash the pulp with 1/2 cup milk 3/4 cup of the red pepper aioli, 3 tablespoons Monterey Jack cheese, salt and pepper.

Stuff the potato shells with the mix and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Place in an oven until hot and the cheese melts. Serve with the remaining aioli sauce over the top. Garnish with parsley if you want.

Red Pepper Aioli

8-ounce jar roasted red pepper packed in water

4 cloves garlic

1 cup mayo or soft tofu

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ground white pepper

Preparation: Place all the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Cover and put in refrigerator until ready to use.


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