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Grilled Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a Catalan pepper sauce which is truly sensational, particularly with grilled fish and shellfish. But it can accompany any grilled meat or poultry or, thinned with a bit of water, serve as a dressing for veggies or salads.

Large, unpeeled jumbo shrimp (prawns)
3 ripe medium tomatoes
1 head of garlic
2 tablespoons paprika, preferably Spanish
1 toasted chili pepper, seeds removed or dried pepper flakes to taste
1 dozen almonds, blanched and peeled
2 dozen hazelnuts, skinned
1 slice country style bread, toasted
1 tablespoon parsley
2/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
Freshly ground pepper

Roast the tomatoes and garlic in a hot oven (400 degrees) until the tomatoes' skins split, about 15 minutes. Remove. Skin the tomatoes, cut them in half and remove seeds. Skin all of the garlic cloves.

Put the tomatoes, garlic, paprika, chili pepper, pepper flakes, almonds, hazelnuts, bread, parsley and part of the olive oil into a food processor. Process until you have a smooth puree. Beat in the remaining oil, salt, vinegar and pepper. The sauce should be the consistency of thick cream. If too thick, thin with a little water or white wine.

The romesco sauce can be made in advance. Bring it to room temperature before servng. Makes enough for 3 to 4 dozen shrimp.

Grill the shrimp on a hot griddle which has been brushed with oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. They will need only a minute or two on each side. Serve with the sauce.

-- "Tapas and More Great Dishes of Spain" by Janet Mendel

Thursday, August 10, 2000

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