For February’s International Day, Chef Stephen treated AGC to the flavors of Spain. The main course was a traditional Paella, with a side of spicy potatoes (patatas bravas) and baby leeks that had students and staff proclaiming fantástico! The meal was complimented by live Flamenco music performed by Mr. M.
Two of our talented AGC 3rd grade students, Karoline and Joey, were guest cooks for Spain day. They worked hard in the kitchen to prepare a tasty Romesco Sauce, which you can try yourself by following the recipe below.
A note from Chef Stephen:
This is adapted from a recipe from Chef Bill Briwa, from The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. For our school application at AGC, we used less olive oil than the original recipe, and used whole wheat bread instead of white bread to create a healthier, lower-fat version of this Romesco Sauce. Although classically served over either seafood or roasted leeks in Spanish cuisine, this can be served with any vegetable, or over chicken, and is delicious in many applications. The intense flavors are developed through the roasting of the ancho chile, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and almonds. You can also use roasted hazelnuts instead of almonds. It is extremely important to achieve a final seasoning balance of the vinegar, salt, pepper, and ground red pepper flakes. When you continue to want to taste it again and again, you are where you want to be.
Yield: Approximately 3 cups
1 dried ancho chile
1 slice crusty whole wheat bread
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roasted in a hot oven or skillet until soft and golden
1 tsp. mild paprika (Hungarian or Spanish is fine)
1/2 cups toasted almonds
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, roasted, peeled, and seeded
2 red peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. finely ground red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Toast the ancho chile in a dry pan until it is aromatic and the color is mottled. Remove the seeds and stems from the chile. Allow the chiles to set in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes or more.
2. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan. Fry bread until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
3. Place chile in a food processor, along with roasted garlic, paprika, almonds, and bread, and process until a paste-like consistency is reached. Add a touch of water if needed to blend all ingredients.
4. Add roasted tomatoes and peppers (along with any accumulated juices) and vinegar to processor and process to a smooth puree. Season this mixture with salt, pepper, and ground red pepper flakes to taste.
5. With food processor running, add olive oil through the hole in the top in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the sauce. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings and consistency, using water to create a thick but pourable sauce.
6. Serve warm over cooked vegetables, chicken, or seafood.