Many of us have heard of romesco sauce, eaten romesco sauce, and wished we had a good recipe for romesco sauce. Well, that wait is over, because I have a great recipe for you. But the question remains: just what is romesco sauce?
Simply put, romesco sauce is from Catalonia, an area in eastern Spain, and the key ingredients are red bell peppers, almonds, and pimentón (a Spanish smoked paprika). A friend once jokingly called it the Spanish version of ketchup, but romesco has a wonderful depth to it that elevates it way beyond a condiment. The almonds add a nutty flavor, and give the peppers a smooth texture, while pimentón adds a distinctive, smoky aroma.
This recipe calls for shrimp, but romesco is delicious on all kinds of fish, chicken, even as a spread on bread. Take your first bite, close your eyes, and the flavors in this dish will transport you to Spain.
Note: begin by blistering the red peppers in a broiler on high. “Blistering” peppers pronounces the sweetness, adds flavor, and also creates space between the skin and the fruit of the pepper. The more charred the peppers are, the easier they will be to peel.
||pounds wild shrimp, 21/25 count, peeled and deveined
||medium red peppers, thinly sliced
||cup almonds, toasted and chopped
||yellow onion, thinly sliced
||cloves garlic, thinly sliced
||tablespoons chopped parsley
||tablespoons olive oil
||to 1 cup chicken stock
||teaspoon chili flakes
||Garnish: finely chopped chives
Peel and devein shrimp. Set aside in refrigerator.
Roast red peppers under the broiler until skin is black and blistered on all sides. Remove skin and seeds saving any pepper liquid. Slice roasted peppers into thin slices. Set aside. (If you don’t have time to roast the red peppers, use 1 cup of store bought roasted peppers. Red peppers are usually stored in jars, near the jars of olives and artichokes.) This how to video will show you how to blister or broil a pepper.
Heat a sauté pan and oil over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt. Cook the onions until wilted but without color, about 15 minutes. Add roasted peppers and season with salt. Cook together until peppers begin to break down, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add garlic and cook 5 minutes. Add parsley, chopped almonds, chili flakes and pimenton and cook until flavors come together, about 5 minutes. Season.
Pulse in a blender with chicken stock until just before it comes to a puree (we want the sauce to be somewhat chunky). Taste and adjust seasoning.
Season the shrimp. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add Romesco sauce. When sauce is hot, add shrimp and cook until shrimp are just cooked through. Shrimp is cooked when its color changes to opaque. Finish with freshly chopped chives.
Main Course, Appetizer and Seafood
Red Pepper Flakes
Other Ingredients Used