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Shrimp with Romesco sauce

(Sheryl Julian/Globe staff)
July 11, 2012
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Serves 6

Shrimp in their shells (heads and tails intact) are a popular tapas, accompanied by a sauce such as Romesco, which is typical in the Catalan provinces, writes Penelope Casas in “Tapas.” Romesco is made like mayonnaise, but instead of beginning with an egg, the base is bread, almonds, and roasted tomato and garlic. Then you whir in olive oil until it has a creamy consistency.

1large tomato, cored and halved
3cloves garlic, halved
2dried red peppers
½cup water
3tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
cup olive oil
1slice French or other white bread, cubed
10skinless whole almonds
Salt, to taste
1pound large shrimp (unshelled)

1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Set the tomato and garlic in a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the oven to the broiler setting. Set a rack about 8 inches from the element.

2. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, pull off the skin. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a food processor.

2. In a saucepan, combine the dried peppers, water, and 3 tablespoons vinegar. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the bread and almonds and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes to brown them all over. Transfer to a food processor.

4. Add the dried pepper mixture. Leave to cool. Pulse until smooth. With the motor running, add all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar or salt, if you like. Transfer to a serving bowl.

5. In a bowl, toss the shrimp and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Broil the shrimp, turning once, for 5 minutes or until the shells begin to char and the shrimp are firm and opaque. Serve the shrimp peeled or in their shells, with the Romesco sauce.  Sheryl Julian. Adapted from “Tapas.”

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