Spanish Week: #4: Prawns with Romesco Sauce

Here’s one of my favourite Spanish dishes. I love the spicy, nutty romesco sauce from Tarragona in the Catalonia region of Spain. It’s the perfect partner for seafood, and in particular prawns. Great for parties or indeed a Wednesday evening in front of the TV. I love this stuff! I usually serve this as a starter course or tapa, but It can be made into a main course pretty easily. Tonight I ate it, tapas style with a couple of other dishes. Namely a simple red capsicum tortilla and some fried chorizo.

20-30 King Prawns (raw – shells off, tails on)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

4 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
1 plum tomato (halved and seeded)
2 red chilli peppers
2 tablespoons blanched almonds
2 tablespoons hazelnuts
2 slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
60g roasted red capsicum
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper

Coat the prawns in a little salt & pepper and refridgerate for about 1 hour
Wrap the garlic cloves in foil, and then place on a baking sheet with the chillies, red capsicum and tomato and bake at 200ºc for 12 minutes. Add to the tray the almonds and hazelnuts and bake for another 5 minutes. Leave to cool, then deseed and remove the skin from the chillies, capsicum and the tomato and cool.

Fry the bread pieces in a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes until nice and brown. Leave to cool.

Add the garlic, nuts and bread to a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend to a crumbly mixture. Pop the garlic out of their skins and add them along with the chillies, tomatoes and capsicum. Gradually add the vinegar then the olive oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil and some salt & pepper to taste. Leave for 30 minutes or so to develop in flavour.

To make the prawns, simply heat the oil over a medium/high heat and fry the prawns for about 5 minutes until pink and slightly translucent.

A small bowl of romesco in the centre with prawns scattered around the outside with plenty of crusty bread.


To make the tortilla.
Place1 medium red capsicum in a 200ºC oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. Cool slightly then remove the skin. Cut into strips and cool completely. Beat4 eggs together and add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Add a pinch of dried thyme and1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped parsley and the capsicum. Leave for 10 minutes, then heat a small frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oiland when hot, pour in the egg. Shake the pan and move the edges inwards and fill the space left with any uncooked egg for about 2-3 minutes. Place a dinner plate on top then invert the pan and turn out the tortilla to the plate. Add a little more oil to the pan then slide the tortilla back in and cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat the process 1 or 2 more times for 30 seconds either side then slide onto serving plate. Serve hot or cold in little wedges with some alioli or romesco sauce.

To make the fried chorizo.
Cut 1 chorizo sausage into slices then toss into a small frying pan and cook over a high heat. The oil will seep out and crispen the sausage. Add a generous slug of white wine and sizzle for 30 seconds then serve tip everything into a small bowl and serve.

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