Recipe: Romesco Sauce Suzanne Goin Style

Romesco Sauce a la Goin

Romesco Sauce

This is one of those recipes that seems more complicated than it is.  Make it once and you’ll never need to look at the recipe again.  Eat what you make and you’ll become addicted, learning new ways to use the nutty, spicy, sweet, deeply satisfying condiment.  It’s a no brainer on simple grilled, broiled or poached fish or chicken, but it’s on vegetables where the sauce really shines.  Suzanne famously serves it atop potatoes.  I’ve featured it here on this blog as part of a Grand Aioli, a dish where dipping becomes an art form of customization.  I love it dribbled on fried eggs, tucked in a tortilla with whatever as a “colonial” salsa.  I would really like to know your favorite way to eat Romesco.  A spoon anyone?

If you can’t find dried chiles pasillas then substitute the more commonly found New Mexico chiles.  Pasillas have a more complex sort of winy flavor and a bit more heat than the brighter flavored New Mexico chile.

This is one of those recipes where the quality of the bread makes a tremendous difference.  It’s a peasant dish and assumes a peasant loaf, so try to find a great natural local natural yeasted bread in your area.  If all else fails, use La Brea Bakery.  I used a couple slices off a small boule from Roan Mills.  Roan Mills Boule

Master Recipe: Simple Shrimp Saute

shrimp saute

shrimp scampi style

Shrimp, scampi-style is the simplest most flavorful way to cook shrimp at home (aside from boiling).  And the beauty of the technique is that once you have shrimp cooked in butter or olive oil with garlic and a squeeze of lemon or lime you can used the finished dish in so many ways. Take a look at my post on SB Ridgeback Shrimp to see how I was able to transform one recipe into a week of special dinners.


Shrimp Broth

Shrimp BrothIf you buy shell on shrimp  or fresh shrimp with heads and shell you can make shrimp broth. It’s a very useful frozen pantry item to have for making risotto, fish soup or infusing a seafood pasta, or pan sauce with more flavor.  And it only takes a half hour to make.  In fact I never actually set out to make shrimp broth, it’s always a by-product of peeling shrimp for another dish, so it’s important to be flexible about what to put in the pot along with the peels in order to end up with a flavorful result.

With this batch I didn’t have any parsley in the house but I had carrots with tops.  The tops taste like a combo of carrots and parsley so they’re perfect for any broth.  I threw those in. Then I added a few peppercorns, some coriander seed (which for some reason I have in great quantity), a couple green scallion tops and some lemon zest and juice.  I could just have easily added Italian parsley, red chile flakes, celery seed (I love the taste of celery in broths), chopped onion and some tomato sauce or fresh tomato instead of the lemon.

Unlike chicken or beef broths you don’t want to simmer a fish broth for a long time.  Twenty minutes is enough to give you a sweet fragrant result without any “off” strong aromas.  Also remember that you can make the broth to any scale even if you’ve only peeled ten shrimp.  They are pungent and have a lot of umami flavor.