Spanish Romesco Sauce and Romescada Fish Stew Recipes
Romesco is a delicious, spicy dark red sauce that originated in the Catalan region of Spain. It is very popular as a sauce for fish and seafood, dips and for serving with cooked vegetables.
It has a unique combination of red peppers (dried or freshly grilled), wine vinegar, roasted nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts, garlic and often stale bread that has been grilled in olive oil.
These ingredients are ground together of blended to make a thick sauce with the consistency of mayonnaise. The bread provides the thickening.
The same ingredients can be used to provide the basis for a spicy fish stew.
This article shows you how to make Romesco sauce at home and includes a Romescada fish stew recipe and many other recipes and variations for enjoying this sauce.
Romesco Sauce - All Original Images by janderson99
Basic Romesco Sauce Recipe
Below is the basic recipe for the sauce. There are lots of variations including adding leaves of fennel or mint or other herbs, as well as using other nuts. This sauce is very versatile and can be used with poultry, pork or lamb (grilled or roasted) and is especially suitable for all types of seafood. The following recipe is for the common variety that is based on slow-roasting garlic and tomatoes to enhance their flavors.
1/4 cup blanched almonds
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
4 ripe tomatoes (medium-size)
2 tablespoons light tasting red wine
1 teaspoon salt or a little more to taste
1 slice stale white bread, torn into pieces
1 head garlic, halved crosswise with a knife
1/4 cup peeled hazelnuts (or other similar nuts)
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (extra 1/3 cup for cooking)
1 dried ancho chili (or other chilies), cored and with seeds removed
Heat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F). Place one half-head of the garlic head in a baking pan and add the tomatoes, and drizzle on about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast the garlic and tomatoes until lightly caramelized but not dark. This generally takes about 90 minutes. Remove the cloves from the other half head of garlic and place in a food processor. Meanwhile heat about one tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add the hazelnuts and almonds, and toast until golden brown in color. Mix regularly to stop any burning. Sear the chili in a hot pan to release the flavor and add to the food processor. Allow the dried garlic and tomatoes to cool before adding them to the food processor. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. When cool add the tomatoes and garlic to the garlic and chili in the food processor bowl. Add the salt and while the processor is running, slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream. This process is similar to making mayonnaise and ensures a smooth consistency. Add the vinegar and bread and pulse to mix in with the other ingredients. Taste the sauce and add more salt and vinegar if needed. The sauce should be quite thick and have a creamy consistency. If it is too thick add a little more wine. If it's too thin, add a little more bread.
Romescada Fisherman Stew
1 large leek (chopped)
2 cups white wine
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small bunch of parsley or mint
4 lb (2 kg) firm-fleshed, white fish fillets (other seafood can also be used)
1/2 cup Romesco Sauce (using the above recipe)
4 fresh sprigs of thyme (or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme)
Place the fish fillets in a large pot and add the onions, chopped leek greens, parsley, thyme. Pour in the white wine. Beat 2 eggs and add to the pot. Add enough water to just cover the fish. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer gently for about 45 minutes. Next strain the broth through a sieve and set aside. Add the olive oil to a hot skillet and add 1/2 cup of Romesco Sauce. Fry while stirring for about 2 minutes to release the flavors. Take 2 cups of fish stock and mix with the sauce to liquefy it. Gently, add the fish fillets into the liquid in the skillet. Cover with a lid and poach for about 5-10 minutes until the fish is just cooked right through. When cooked, distribute the fish into serving bowls. Then heat the remainder of the broth in the skillet and add to the bowls. Sprinkle parsley on the top and serve hot.
© 2014 Dr. John Anderson
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