Putting the recipe where your mouth is

Okay, tonight is less about an active recipe, but more of a story. Yes, that means tonight Patrick’s Table Fare becomes Patrick’s Table Story Hour. Good news, this story won’t be actually be an hour, but you get the idea.

Alright, so last week one of my bosses came to me and said, “Hey, there is a recipe contest with a local restaurant group that maybe you should think about entering.”  Of course my interest was immediately piqued, but my initial thought was where was I going to come up with an unique enough spin that I could garner some attention. I thought my chance was quickly dashed when I realized a bulk of the recipes I do only have minor changes, but may not provide enough complexity to make the dish my own. So, it was no surprise when I started talking myself out of the possibility that I could even create something that would work.

Oh, what would I get out of this if the recipe won? The winning recipe is featured for 6 weeks on the menus of a local restaurant group in all their restaurants. Sweet, right?!

I digress, back to my story. Even though I had decided I couldn’t come up with anything, my brain continued to search and seek through my internal database. Alas, I still couldn’t come with anything that could be identifiably my own. My in house copy editor and I started chewing over some more ideas to make sure I wasn’t limiting myself. We kicked around a few more ideas including the roasted pepper sauce that I make that you can find my Party on the Barbie post, but I knew that wasn’t going to be unique enough. I started to wonder if I could find a way to give that sauce a notable twist that would turn some heads. I suddenly remembered this time where I combined some left over red pepper sauce and some left over homemade pesto in a pinch to stretch both the sauces. As it turned out, the flavor of the pesto and red pepper was different and could be well suited for this application, but the color of the sauce was anything but appealing. So, to keep you reading, I will just describe the color of the sauce as that of pate. See the problem? Now the wheels were turning since I had a flavor profile, but I had to make sure the sauce’s color would be appealing. How could I make this work, I wondered. Then it hit me, maybe I could incorporate fresh basil leaves with the red peppers and follow the same premise of how I make the sauce normally.

Off to the kitchen I went and as luck would have it, I had enough ingredients in the fridge to make a very basic batch of my new creation. What did I discover to my own surprise? The sauce worked. Boom! Just like that, I had my unique twist that I could apply to a dish that is recognizable but would march to the beat of it’s own drum.

Now, the fun part. Now I need to test the sauce until the flavors balance properly, then I can figure out how to bring it all together. Anyone ready to roast some more red peppers? I will post a complete recipe once it is done, but there will be updates coming soon as the deadline is less than two weeks away! Here we go!

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