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– Hey, welcome back to my kitchen. I’m going to prepare romesco sauce, a deeply flavorful, super delicious condiment from Spain. It’s so useful to just have some delicious sauces and condiments on hand, whether they’re store-bought, or you make them yourself, and then you keep it on hand, and you can use it to add interest to the simplest, laziest meals that you throw together to feed yourself and your family.

(mellow music) I’m gonna wager that for most folks who’ve seen recipes for romesco sauce in the United States, what they’ve seen is something that has tomato, that has nuts, that has olive oil, it has garlic, and it maybe has roasted red bell pepper in it.

Traditionally, it wasn’t a roasted bell pepper. It was a dried pepper. Frequently this one called a ñora that’s rehydrated, and that’s mashed into it. And if you can imagine, if you think of what a red pepper tastes like, even a roasted one, you know, a fresh red bell pepper that’s roasted, and you think of what a dried chili pepper tastes like, they’re pretty different.

But I’ll be honest, I ordered the ñoras for this, and I forgot to look at the quantity and I didn’t get enough. So this is not enough for a recipe of romesco sauce, and I’m gonna double my recipe. So this is really not enough.

So we’ll do the ñoras. I’ll show you the ñora peppers. But I also went and I picked up just at my local store. I got some, here you go. Dried ancho chilies. These are just poblano chilies that have been dried.

This is what I recommend in my recipe as a substitute. There is one caveat, which is that poblanos sometimes can have like have like sneaky heat hiding in them. Like mostly they’re usually mild in my experience, but sometimes they’re a little bit hot.

And then every once in a while you get a hot hot one. And so that can carry over to the ancho chilies. I also picked up some pasilla chilies, and I got guajillos. Lemme open this up. They’re really cute.

Look at these little itty bitty… Check out the little booty booties. They smell… sweet. Like chocolatey. So the next thing we have to do is we have to rehydrate these peppers. Well, that’s very easy.

I’m just gonna pour boiling hot water on them. And you know some of these other chilies may rehydrate faster than the, the ñoras are a little bit more stubborn. You know what I can use? I can use my, um.

.. what’s it called, otoshibuta. My Japanese pig lid. This can help you submerge things. What else do we need? We need garlic. Some recipes. You see we’ll call for fresh garlic some recipes you see will call for roasted garlic.

So I roast half my garlic and I leave the other half raw and you get the best of both worlds. I think it makes a more interesting sauce. We need tomatoes. Now I’ve oven-roasted my tomatoes that helps drive off moisture.

It’s gonna allow me to pack more tomato flavor into the sauce. And that’s fairly common with romesco sauce. We need nuts. Almonds are very common. You could, if you just buy Marcona almonds Spanish, Marcona almonds, they come pre-skinned.

The culinary term for that is blanched. I blanched these myself, which is easy. And then I toasted these lightly in the oven. So these are lightly roasted. What else? Olive oil. Sherry vinegar. Some bread.

Here is one of the ñora peppers. So what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna take your knife kinda open your pepper up and you just scrape the flesh off. And you know, the skin might tear a little but you can usually just get your finger back on it and get the rest off.

So now on this messy, messy-looking board, I’ve got four different dried chilies. So, I’ll just do a little sample a tiny little sample of the ñora pepper. And that is bitter and earthy. And it does have kind of like a raisiny thing, but no, there’s no sweetness.

I kind of stand by my original recommendation which is that an ancho chili is a good substitute. If you can’t get ñora peppers. I’m gonna do this in a mortar and pestle. You don’t have to, although it’s really fun.

And I love to do it. Romesco sauce is really quite easy to do in a mortar and pestle, but it’s also a sauce that comes out really well with a food processor. You’re not sacrificing too much if you do that.

Right. So we’re gonna get some roasted garlic in there. Now it says three – I’m gonna double this recipe cause I need extra romesco. These quantities are just, they’re just ballpark. Like you can make it garlic-ier easier or less garlicky.

Here we go. Smashing away. I just love the broad head of this wooden pestle, because it just does such quick work of smashing something like this garlic to a paste. And it also gets more of it at once.

Get a rhythm going and you just and you know, you can do like a, a grinding motion also. But it… at first I find it, it really helps to do more of a tapping. Okay, (crunching) This is stale! It is that.

Yeah. Here’s the sherry vinegar. And we’re just gonna kind of drizzle it on the bread to wet the bread. This bread is going to have to get a little bit more wet with the other ingredients to fully break down, but already it’s compressed a lot.

Let’s put these nuts in, oh this is getting full! Wow. Alright. Start tapping these almonds down. “Oh, it’s so easy to do it in a mortar and pestle. There’s just no reason not to! Oh, wait a minute. What was I saying?” I feel like this quantity of bread and nuts was doable when it was a single recipe volume but it’s a lot more challenging when – cause the mortar is so full.

I don’t have a lot of like, surface to work against cause it’s full up with stuff. Okay. In goes the pepper flesh. Let’s get, let’s work this paste in. Oh, that’s it, that’s nice. Let’s get these tomatoes smashed in there.

Too much. Too much in this mortar and pestle, it’s just too much. I am gonna, I’m gonna get my immersion blender. And I’m gonna see if I can just give this a little bit of an assist. I don’t know, should we leave this in the video? And it’s like a lesson in how to adapt when you make a bad decision.

(laughs) Look at that. There we go. Finally. Woo! Finally made it. Alright so now let’s get this olive oil and we’ll very slowly, so we don’t splash, stir this, start stirring this in. The bread that’s in here is just gonna soak it up like a sponge.

Let me taste it. Mm Yeah. More oil. I’m just gonna start glugging it in. And then I’m gonna add a little more vinegar too. And at this point I’m not measuring I’m just kinda dosing things in. Alright.

The romesco is done. – [crew member] Yaay! – Finally. One of the most traditional ways to enjoy romesco sauce is with grilled calçots. They’re like spring onions, big spring onions like big scallions that are grilled and you dip them in the romesco.

But it’s also just a really delicious condiment to have on hand for all sorts of things, because you can use it as a spread on a sandwich. You can use it as a dip for roasted and grilled vegetables of all kinds.

You can use it with roasted meats. I mean, a beautiful roast chicken with some romesco sauce or a seared or grilled steak with romesco sauce. All of this is gonna be delicious. This is one of these condiments that just gives you an amazing amount of versatility.

It’s gonna do all the heavy lifting for you flavor wise. And then all you have to do is do something simple like cook a piece of meat or roast some vegetables very simply, roast some carrots, eat them with the romesco sauce.

The possibilities are just absolutely endless. So I just loosened my romesco sauce with a little water to make it a saucier consistency. And now I just have it paired up with some corn that I stewed with leeks and butter, thyme and a little white pepper.

And then I just put some roast chicken on top. One really simple thing you can do. Kale and fennel salad with some pickled shallots, just real quick pickled, soaked in red wine vinegar. There’s manchego cheese graded on top.

The vinegarette is just romesco that I thinned with additional olive oil and sherry vinegar super simple, hardy, another way to use romesco.

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