Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Romesco Sauce

I love condiments.

Chutneys, drizzles, aioli, all of them.

To make your own condiments is one of the most satisfying parts of cooking. How cool is it to open your refrigerator and grab a bit of your own Tapenade to use a spoonful in a marinade for lamb chops. Or to spoon out a dollop of mango chutney to go alongside chicken korma. Homemade mayonnaise on a summer blt..sublime.

One of our favorites is Romesco, a thick, spicy nut-thickened sauce with origins in Catalonia that absolutely rocks.

Swirl a teaspoon through crème fraiche and top gazpacho. Use as a spread on a wrap filled with shrimp, avocado, tomato and shavings of Manchego. Use it as a marinade, thinned with a bit of olive oil to make chicken thighs dance on the grill. It’s great with ice cold celery sticks as an afternoon snack.

Romesco shines with seafood. A quick marinade of ground cumin, lemon and olive oil seasoned with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper on two beautiful amberjack fillets, grilled to perfection. To serve, spoon a bit of Romesco on the side with a sweet veggie to accompany it, lightly steamed asparagus or sugar snap peas.

Romesco Sauce
Adapted from a recipe by Joyce Goldstein

2 dried ancho chiles
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 cup whole almonds
6 fat cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 big tbsp sun dried tomato paste
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Put ancho chiles in small saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil then turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.

When oven is hot, put almonds on baking sheet and put in oven for 10 minutes til toasted. Set aside.

Drain chiles and remove stems and seeds. Coarsely chop and put in bowl. Add peppers.

Put garlic and almonds in food processor and pulse on and off til ground and blended. Add pepper/chile mix, spices, sun dried tomato paste and vinegar. Blend well.

Turn food processor on and slowly add the extra virgin olive oil til mixture emulsifies. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 2 cups.

This will last a month to six weeks in your refrigerator.



Peter M said...

Mary, this Romesco sounds lovely!

fluffernutter said...

Printing this out, making when the box of tomatoes arrive. Thanks for helping with the tomato flood.

Have you and I ever discussed our love for Joyce Goldstein. I love back to Square 1, and still cook from it just all the time.

fluffernutter said...

I meant peppers. This will be ideal for the pepper flood. Now if you just find one this good for tomatoes -- usually I make pizza sauce, but you can only use so much of it.

noble pig said...

This would be so great with my calamari! Love it!

cookiecrumb said...

Such a stunning color.

Parker said...

I love chutneys also.. this sauce sounds superb.

Kevin said...

This sounds like a tasty sauce!

Mary Coleman said...

Peter: There are so many versions of this sauce. Yours is equally fab!

Fluff: Joyce Goldstein rocks. I can't get through a week without cooking something of hers. She is, without a doubt, one of the best, most creative chefs ever.

Cathy: With calamari this would be divine!

Cookiecrumb: Thanks!

Parker: Thanks for stopping by! It is a great sauce.

Kevin: Thanks..it's hard not to get a bite every time I open the fridge.

cook eat FRET said...

it might be 6 weeks,but i am amking this for sure