Jack’s Romesco Sauce

Recently we were at Table, a local restaurant here in Asheville,  and Jack had a fish dish served with romesco sauce which was unusually good.  The chef told us that he had not included bread in the sauce because of concerns about gluten free diners.  Jack liked the idea of no bread and it  inspired him to come home and consult several recipes before making his version of the sauce. Jack’s sauce was unusually  good as well, so it was time to add it to our repertoire.

A note about cherry hot peppers.  They are a summer, seasonal, item and can be found dried at most grocery stores.  In Spain, where this sauce originates in the region of Catalonia, these peppers are called ñoras.  Although Romesco sauce is used with fish dishes, and anything else, really that strikes you as a good combination, it is an essential part of the celebration of the new onions in spring, and thus Spanish recipes for Romesco sauce will call for dried ñoras which will have to be soaked in hot water before its meat can be scraped off and used.  Since it is summer, and these peppers are available fresh, we used them in this recipe. Perhaps in the winter I will post another version of this sauce using the dried ñoras.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tomatoes
  2. 6 cherry hot peppers#
  3. 5 gloves of garlic, unpeeled
  4. 1 cups nuts*
  5. 2 -Tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  6. 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  7. 1 -teaspoon Kosher salt
  8. 1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. ¼ cup olive oil

# 2 red bell peppers can be substituted

* walnuts, filberts, almonds or a combination

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

  1. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and oil lightly.
  2. Core the tomatoes.
  3. Core the cherry hot peppers and scrape out the seeds (rinsing them out afterwards usually gets all the pesky little seeds out!)
  4. Place the tomatoes and cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet, cover with another sheet of tin foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove top foil, and continue to bake another 15 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers are blistered and rather charred.
  6. MEANWHILE… Cut a 12” piece of tin foil, place the garlic cloves in the middle, and make an “envelope”. Place the “envelope” in the oven and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes…
  7. MEANWHILE…toast the nuts slightly
  8. When tomatoes and peppers are done, allow the tomatoes to cool, and place the peppers in a brown paper bag. After 20 minutes or so, the peppers should have sweated and will be easy to peel. Peel the peppers, the tomatoes, and the garlic
  9. Place the all ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 5 seconds or so, simply to mix the ingredients.
  10. Slowly pour in the olive oil, as you would make mayonnaise.
  11. The mixture should be uniformed, emulsified, and the nuts gritty.

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