Have you ever thought about something for so long that you never thought it would ever come true? I've been dreaming about going to Spain ever since I was fortunate enough to work with Spanish cookbook author Penelope Casas almost 17 years ago. The way she talked about the food, the wine, the people made you NEED to go. Well that need is going to be met in one week; I'm Barcelona bound!!!
Since then I've been trying all sorts of tapas and other Spanish dishes, adjusting things when I can't find the authentic ingredients. For example, here is my version of a classic Romesco sauce. It's great on pan-fried fish, vegetables or I love it as a sandwich spread.
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
3/4 cup almonds, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled seeded and chopped
1 cup diced and seeded tomatoes or 2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and pulse until chunky. With the motor running, slowly add oil and process until thickened. (The sauce won't be completely smooth.) Cover, and let stand for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend and then season to taste with additional salt and vinegar.
If you want other great Spanish recipes you need to check out The Foods & Wines of Spain by Penelope Casas.