(I should post topical stories on the day they're written.... alas I've been busy)
I have the day off. Huzzzah! You can't see it but I'm doing the "Day Off Happy Dance.*"
On my days off, I like to cook something different, something special. So I'll pull a cookbook off a shelf and flip through it. See what captures my fancy.
I adapted the following Romesco recipe from Penelope Casas' excellent "Tapas" cookbook.
It's basically a tomato sauce. Or, if you're from Philly, gravy. But it makes a wonderful dip, hot or cold.
Is it a dip? sauce? gravy? Who knows. I can tell you that it originated in Catalan, Spain (it's the place with a lispy accent and a lot of X's pronounced thhhh). It's roasted garlic, onion, red pepper and garlic pureed with roasted almonds, olive oil and vinegar.
It's deep and nutty with a little heat from the dried chilies -- steeped in fig vinegar and white vinegar.
3 or 4 Roma tomatoes
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
1 small red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut in half
20 ea almonds
1 cup XVOO (divided use)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (I was out, so I used fig-infused vin mixed with white vinegar, 3:1)
3 small, hot, dried chilie peppers
4 cloves garlic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil tomatoes, peeled onion, and halved pepper. Put on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the garlic. Roast for an additional 10 minutes.
Heat the vinegar and dried chilies to a simmer in a small saucepan. Simmer peppers for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup XVOO in a small saute pan. Add the almonds and roast until dark brown. Remove from heat.
Using a food processor, combine roasted veggies, peppers in vinegar and oil-poached almonds. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil as the mix processes. Completely process and season to taste.
May your day's off be as fun and fulfilling as mine.
* The Day Off Happy Dance is a 'raise the roof' motion with my hands while I do a little skippy thing with my feet.